"Azerbaijan fully supports the activity of OIC. I am pleased to announce that the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan has just recently decided to make a voluntary contribution to the budget of the OIC", Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said in his speech at the Annual Coordination Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the OIC Member States, held in New York on Friday.
Azerbaijani MFA noted that OIC is best placed to serve as venue for dialogue and cooperation in the Islamic world on a wide range of issues from security to economic and development cooperation.
He stressed that the organization can only succeed in instutionalising if the member states strictly adhere to principles and uphold the centrality of political unanimity.
The minister expressed sincere gratitude and profound appreciation to the Governments of OIC Member States for their valuable support to Azerbaijan's candidacy for non-permanent member of UN Security Council and strong solidarity with Azerbaijan during 17 rounds of elections.
"We continue to extend our full support to legitimate aspirations of OIC Member States to be represented in the UN Security Council in an appropriate manner. We also consider important of establishing mutually reinforcing cooperation between the United Nations Security Council and the OIC for maintaining international peace and security", the minister noted.
The minister paid tribute to 'the peoples and Governments of Egypt, Libya and Tunis who are making good progress in democratic transition of their countries'. He added that their achievements have once more reconfirmed that democracy is not only compatible with Islam-it is in fact in the true essence of our religion.
Elmar Mammadyarov expressed regret over persistence and deterioration, registered in security problems in the OIC area.
"Armenia continues to use force to sustain military occupation of a substantial part of territories of Azerbaijan and to prevent one million Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs from returning to their homes. No single Azerbaijani historic and cultural monument was left undamaged and no mosque and other sacred site escaped desecration both in the occupied territories and in Armenia. The situation is further complicated by Armenia's irresponsible and unacceptable behavior in the overly sensitive domain of justice and reconciliation. Perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including acts of genocide against Azerbaijani people, not only remain unpunished, they are even promoted, venerated and officially awarded hero titles in Armenia", the minister added.
In minister's words, Armenia's actions are aimed at making the situation irreversible, the peace process meaningless and reconciliation between two peoples impossible.
"Armenia must finally realize that the irresponsible and provocative policy of territorial claims, animosity and hatred towards neighbouring countries and nations, based on historical, cultural, racial and religious prejudices, has no chance to succeed. The earlier it grasps this, the sooner our countries will be able to reach mutual understanding, and enjoy peace, stability and cooperation. Consideration of this issue at the OIC is yet another test for the resolve and consistency of Member States in defending the principles and values of our organization. I would like to thank the member States for their continued support of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Azerbaijan and their condemnation of the notorious aggression of Armenia. ", the minister stated.
He said, the member states need to remain consistent in defending the just cause of the Muslim communities and minorities around the world.
"We are concerned over the situation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Azerbaijan reiterates its support to brotherly people of Palestine and their efforts to achieve peace, stability, and establishment of a sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with Al-Quds as its capital. We would like to reiterate our support for the application of Palestine for admission to membership in the United Nations", he added.
In the minister's words, Azerbaijan is deeply concerned over the escalating violence in Syria that claims so many innocent lives and endangers regional security.
"We pay utmost importance to maintaining peace and security in Syria, which is one of the cradles of the Islamic civilization. We should not remain indifferent to the humanitarian crisis that made hundreds of thousands of Syrians flee their homes. We commend the efforts of neighboring countries who take heavy burden of sheltering mass number of Syrian refugees", he said.
Elmar Mammadyarov expressed his belief over awareness off all stake-holders inside Syria of the vitality of keeping the nation united. He stressed Azerbaijan's firm support for sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity of Syria, in this regard.
"As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, we were making our efforts to help Syria and the international community to enable a peaceful development of events. I want to renew our call upon all parties to the Syrian crisis to immediately halt violence and to embark on a Syrian-led inclusive political process so as to find a solution to the problems of the nation in a peaceful manner", he stated.
The minister expressed deep concern over the recent escalation provoked by blasphemy against Islam, strongly condemned all attacks against our religion and rejected any attempt to justify those heinous acts under the pretext of freedom expression
"These cases reveal serious shortcomings by several countries in combating Islamophobia and promoting tolerance on one hand. On the other hand, it testifies to the need for stronger efforts from each of us and our organisation towards more effective communicating the true essence of Islam. We believe that this issue should be brought to the attention of the UNSC and a joint session with the OIC could be held on that topic", he noted.
In conclusion, Elmar Mammadyarov re-emphasised the importance of the political unanimity and stronger practical cooperation among the Member States and wished tremendous successes to all of them on this path.