Statement by Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, at the 39th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation

Statement by Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, at the 39th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation

Djibouti, November 16, 2012

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I would like to express gratitude and sincere thanks of my delegation to the Republic of Djibouti for its initiative to convene this important event at the time when many Muslim countries and communities are facing extraordinary challenges.

I also would like to thank His Excellency President Ismail Omar Guelleh and people of Djibouti for the exceptional hospitality and excellent arrangements for the 39th session of Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM).

It is my privilege and honour to congratulate you upon the assumption of the Chairmanship of the CFM and wish you every success in performing your responsibilities.

In the meantime, I would like to express my appreciation to the Republic of Kazakhstan for its professional and successful work as the previous Chairman of the CFM.

Today, Islamic Ummah is facing numerous challenges and obstacles. Recent developments in the Middle East have become one of the central and urgent issues of the global politics. Regretfully, ongoing conflicts and wars deepen the sore and pain of the peoples, and as a result, thousands of civilians die and many others are forced to flee their homes.

In this regard, we in Azerbaijan deeply concerned over the situation in Syria. As an UN Security Council Member, Azerbaijan has engaged with utmost responsibility in dealing with the situation in Syria. Along with international community, Azerbaijan expresses its readiness to continue its engagement constructively in overcoming the current crisis through a Syrian-led political process and reiterates its strong commitment to sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria.

Moreover, Syria owns a great number of the important Islamic cultural sites with a rich historical heritage. We also have to continue our efforts for the cease of the destruction of such places and achieve the preservation of the cultural heritage for the future generations.

We remain anxious over the situation in Palestine. Azerbaijan reiterates its support to brotherly people of Palestine to achieve peace, stability, and to establish its sovereign and independent State, with East Jerusalem as its capital. We highly value the work of the OIC Secretary General to consolidate our Organization in providing much needed assistance to the population in Palestine. As a member of the UNSC I would like to express our concern with regard to the latest splash of hostilities and deterioration of the situation in Gaza. I also would like to inform that the consultations have been started in New York at the UN Headquarters.

Furthermore, the Government of Azerbaijan is concerned over the prevailing situation in Mali and Sahel Region. Azerbaijan has followed the recent developments in friendly Mali with concern. These developments pose a significant threat to the stability and security of the continent beyond its local and regional dimensions. In this regard, we fully support the efforts of the African Union, ECOWAS and the international community for the successful conclusion of the process of reestablishing stability and the preservation of the territorial integrity and security of Mali.

We would also like to express our concern on the recent unfortunate and notorious events that took place in the Rakhine State of the Union of Myanmar and the situation of the Rohingya Muslims living in the abovementioned region. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of Muslim Rohingya Community in Myanmar and condemn the act of killings and human right violations of innocent civilians.

Azerbaijan is pleased to observe the efforts undertaken by the Governments of OIC Member States, as well as activities of H.E. Mr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the OIC regarding the above-mentioned issues.

Additionally, Azerbaijan continues its support to the programs and initiatives of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in the fulfillment of its tasks. Recently, Azerbaijan voluntarily contributed three million US dollars to support the activities of the General Secretariat of OIC.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Historically, Islam has always been bearing and disseminating the noble aims and the rich culture of the humanity, adhering to peace and tolerance in the world, has made great contribution to harmony and prosperity of all nations regardless of their faith. Consolidation of our efforts within the OIC to prevent Islamophobia is highly needed.

Due to its strategic geographical location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Azerbaijan had bridging role between Eastern and Western civilizations for centuries. Azerbaijan has always promoted Islamic cultural and spiritual values in the world. Along with other Muslim countries, Azerbaijan have provided a significant assistance to the recently opened “Islamic art” section of the Louvre museum in Paris, which contains works of architecture, art and other cultural expressions of Islamic civilization.

I would also like to express once again our sincere gratitude to the brotherly OIC Member States and the OIC Secretary General for their valuable support to the just cause of Azerbaijan in the ongoing conflict with Armenia as a result of which almost twenty percent of Azerbaijan’s territory is presently under the occupation of Armenia, around one million of indigenous Azerbaijani population have been expelled and ethnically cleansed from their native lands, and thousands of Azerbaijani cultural and historical monuments, including Islamic heritage sites were devastated and looted.

In conclusion, I would like to convey my best wishes for fruitful deliberations and successful ending of this important event. We are strongly confident that we will achieve all our aims that will serve to the prosperity and development of Islamic Ummah.

Thank you.

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