Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 29
By Seymur Aliyev - Trend:
In the issues related to security Azerbaijan mainly relies on the younger generation, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at the First Global Forum on Youth Policies held in Baku on Oct. 29.
"It is our young Azerbaijanis who are protecting our borders. At the moment they stand face to face with Armenian aggressors to protect their motherland. And the most of our victims, during the Armenian aggression, were the representatives of younger generation," the president said.
He said the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the biggest threat to the regional security.
"Unfortunately, at the end of 80s - beginning of 90s of the last century, Azerbaijan became the subject of violent Armenian aggression, ethnic cleansing, and occupation of our historical lands," President Aliyev stressed.
He said the Nagorno-Karabakh is a historic part of Azerbaijan, adding that for centuries, Azerbaijanis lived in that area, and the aggressive separatism backed by Armenia, led to the current situation.
"Twenty percent of internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan are under occupation by Armenia, for more than 20 years already. One million people became refugees and internally displaced persons as a result of that aggression," the Azerbaijani president said.
He went on to add that the policy of ethnic cleansing was implemented against Azerbaijanis.
"Khojaly genocide was committed by Armenians. More than 600 innocent people were killed only because they were Azerbaijanis. Today, Armenian occupation, the criminal regime in Armenia is the biggest threat. The UN Security Council adopted four resolutions demanding immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from Azerbaijani territories," the president said.
President Aliyev added that the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be based on decisions and resolutions of international organizations, particularly the UN Security Council resolutions must be implemented.
The president pointed to the fact that similar decisions were adopted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, European Parliament, Council of Europe, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other organizations, which fully support the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
"We see that in some cases the resolutions are implemented within days, in our case, for more than 20 years they still remain on paper," he added.
President Aliyev went on to say that it is necessary to be stronger, more efficient, and work harder to have resolution of the conflict based on international law norms and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijani president also expressed confidence that the day will come when the Azerbaijani citizens will return back to their native lands in Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied territories.
"We have strong support of the international community not only on this issue, but also in general," President Aliyev said. "The best indicator of that was the election of Azerbaijan as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, and we were members of the council for two years from 2012 to 2013."
"We were selected with the absolute majority from the international community -- 155 countries voted for Azerbaijan," he added.
The president said this was particularly important, because with only over 20 years of independence, Azerbaijan became a member of the international community, and managed to get such a strong support from 155 countries.
He said that unfortunately today one can observe very difficult developments in the regions surrounding Azerbaijan, in Middle East, Europe and other parts of the world, adding that sometimes they have very tragic outcomes.
"Therefore, the world must be united to fight terrorism and defend international law and justice. Azerbaijan, in the region where it is situated, plays an important role with respect to international securityand stability," the president added.
"Azerbaijan is actually an island of stability, development and predictability in the region," President Aliyev said. "Azerbaijan is a stabilizing force, stabilizing factor in the region. Because through regional cooperation, economic initiatives, initiatives related to energy and transportation we can achieve a lot."
"Our policy has always been very clear, through regional cooperation and mutual support towards national interests, including economic interests, security and stability," he added.
President Aliyev said every country is interested and tries to reach maximum level of security and stability, because it is the main prerequisite for development.
"If you don't have stability and security, you will not have investment, and without investments even the developed countries in the world can't go forward. At the same time, every country must be interested in security and stability beyond its borders, because you're not living on an island. You have neighbors. Therefore, we are interested in having predictable and stable situation beyond our borders, as well as in Azerbaijan. This is how we look at issues related to regional security and regional cooperation."
The president added that the economic, energy and transportation initiatives, which were launched, are to the benefit of all the participants.
"Only in a win-win situation we can achieve maximum results," the Azerbaijani president said.
He added that Azerbaijan launched important, multinational, transcontinental, transportation projects, the projects related to energy security, energy diversification, and all the countries that are parts of these initiatives get the benefits.
"When we became independent, our economy was in total devastation, we had political crisis, military crisis, Armenian occupation, civil war - that was the picture in the beginning of the 90s," the president said.
He went on to add that the efforts of political stability, political reforms, democratic development, free media as for example, free internet, and the fact that over 70 percent of Azerbaijani population are internet users, other political freedoms, and economic development are the reasons for successful development.
"And without political reforms you cannot achieve sustainable success," President Aliyev said.
"You can achieve success for certain periods of time, but to have sustainable success you have to provide fundamental freedom for people, because everybody are born free and must live in free society with security and all fundamental rights," he added.
The Azerbaijani president said the political reforms in Azerbaijan were backed by economic reforms.
"Without economic reforms, political reforms are very difficult to implement, and the creation of self-sufficient, strong economy was our target. That created confidence and economic independence. It is difficult to have political independence and to conduct independent policy without economic background," President Aliyev added.