Speech by Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, at the Conference of the OIC Foreign Ministers on the establishment of An Islamic Financial Safety Net in Support of Palestine
Baku, June 11, 2013
Ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues
It is my great honour and pleasure to welcome you once again on behalf of my country. Today’s conference is a very special event dealing with the critical situation arose of the financial difficulties met by the State of Palestine following its upgrade of status at the United Nations.
Against this background, the Final Communiqué adopted by the Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of government of the OIC member states, held on 6-7th February 2013 in Cairo called for the establishment of an “Islamic Financial Safety Net in support of Palestine”.
Since some financial problems faced by Palestine for different reasons created the situation when functioning of the primary institutions and provision of basic services, including health, education and transportation start to be very complicated. As a result, today Palestine faces a deep financial crisis. Situation is grave in a level that the state is unable to provide the monthly salaries to the civil servants and fulfill its vital commitments to the private sector. Obviously, our support and enhanced international financial engagement is now crucial for preserving the capability of Palestine statehood. This urgent case calls for immediate action, since timely approach will prevent the crisis from deepening.
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 people of Palestine.
And now, it is required to support the Government of the State of Palestine so as to enable it meet its commitments towards the Palestinian People, endorse their resilience.
In this regard, the initiative to create a financial safety net for Palestine would provide the necessary protection to render the challenges that Palestinian Government will face. We believe that this net will serve as an effective instrument for effectively coping with financial constraints of Palestine.
As it is indicated by the OIC, the annual budgetary deficit of Palestine Government currently runs around $1.3 billion dollars. And there is a shortfall in international assistance amounting to 300 million dollars which hopefully will be contributed by OIC Member States.
The Islamic Financial Safety Net will be the major venue for Azerbaijan’s multifaceted support for Palestine with a view to enhancing the capabilities of its state institutions.
Ladies and gentlemen
On behalf of Azerbaijan I express my words of appreciation to OIC Secretary General Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and his highly dedicated team for the successful realization of the goals and principles of our Organization. I believe that on this honorary mission aimed at providing support to the brotherly People of Palestine, the participants of the Conference will demonstrate solidarity inherent to the Islamic Ummah.
At the end, I would like to convey my best wishes for fruitful deliberations and successful ending of this important event.