Details added (first version posted at 17:09)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 18
Azerbaijan calls for further consolidation of efforts within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to prevent Islamophobia, Elmar Mammadyarov, Azerbaijani foreign minister, said.
Mammadyarov made the remarks at a meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Tashkent October 18.
“To the deepest regret, by ignoring innovations and positive influences brought by Islam, international community remains incapable in properly and effectively addressing Islamophobia,” he said.
“We should spare no effort to prevent the increase in frequency and notoriety of this unacceptable trend,” the minister added. “In this regard, we praise the work done by OIC to combat the phenomenon of Islamophobia.”
“Armed conflicts, terror acts, refugee and migrant crisis, devastating humanitarian situation in certain countries, pervasive misconceptions about religion and many more other impediments for peace and security continue to exist in our vulnerable and fragile world,” the minister said.
To the deepest regret, at the moment a number of OIC member states stand face-to-face with the above-mentioned challenges, he added.
“We all acknowledge that one of the primary reasons and factors contributing to the emergence of Islamophobia is undoubtedly violent extremism and terrorism,” he said.
“It is imperative to take all necessary measures to effectively confront the threats and challenges posed by terrorism, as well as to address its root causes, which include but are not limited to prolonged armed conflicts, illiteracy and social exclusion,” he said.
Mammadyarov added that Azerbaijan strongly and unequivocally condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes, as one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.
The minister added that Armenia continues to hold its destructive position in the negotiation process of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by totally disregarding the position of the international community and flagrantly violating the international law.
“Azerbaijan reiterates its sincere gratitude to OIC Secretary General and OIC Member States for their constant principled position in condemnation of the Armenian aggression and occupation of Azerbaijani territories with notorious ethnic cleansing on the seized lands,” he said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.