President Ilham Aliyev: Baku turns into one of centers of int’l cooperation (UPDATE) (PHOTO)

President Ilham Aliyev: Baku turns into one of centers of int’l cooperation (UPDATE) (PHOTO)

the details were added (the first version was posted at 12:54)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 31 / Trend S. Aliyev /

Azerbaijan has been recently holding prestigious international events, summits, international conferences on various topics, and Baku has turned into one of the centers of international cooperation, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said during the opening ceremony of the Third Baku International Humanitarian Forum today.

According to him, humanitarian issues and cooperation in this sphere unite peoples and countries.

"There is great interest towards the work of the forum," the President said. "Around 800 guests from 70 countries are participating, and one can say that our guests today are the intellectual elite of most of the world's community," Ilham Aliyev said.

The President underscored that in all times Azerbaijan has paid attention to humanitarian cooperation, adding that this issue is constantly in the spotlight.

"I think that our country has gained great experience in this field. Along with political, economic, energy issues, humanitarian issues are being discussed in Baku at a high level," the President noted.

According to him, the Davos World Economic Forum and the meeting of the Club of Madrid were held in Baku for the first time in South Caucasus and Central Asia, the forum on inter-cultural dialogue was held twice, and the Baku International Humanitarian Forum was also significant among them.

"I am confident that the discussions and exchange of opinions, to be held within the forum will contribute to the international humanitarian cooperation," the President said. "Holding such events in Azerbaijan is natural because representatives of all peoples and religions in Azerbaijan in all periods lived in peace, safety and brotherhood."

"Regardless of the socio-political system in the country, justice and tolerance have been always observed in Azerbaijan in all periods," the President said. "Independent Azerbaijan is creating its policy today on the basis of this solid foundation. There is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society in Azerbaijan today."

"This is our great property and value" he said. "We protect and we will protect this heritage. The historic monuments of representatives of all peoples and religions are being protected and restored. The ancient temple of worshippers has been restored in Azerbaijan. The Caucasus' oldest church is also in Azerbaijan. It was also overhauled. One of the oldest world mosques - Shamakhi Juma mosque was also overhauled. The mosque is 1270 years old. That is, restoration, protection of monuments of all religions is the state policy."

Ilham Aliyev noted that this brilliant historic experience in Azerbaijan is observed today in modern conditions.

"I believe that the formation of civil society and development of international relations in the positive direction are our greatest achievements. I want to reiterate that's why the issues related to humanitarian cooperation are being discussed in Baku."

The president expressed confidence that this forum has brilliant future and the platform of international cooperation will have its positive impact on the positive processes in the world.

"The forum has a broad agenda," he said. "Very interesting topics will be discussed. According to the information presented to me, the sections of greatest interest, "round tables" will cover issues related to multiculturalism. And I can say that the forum focused on this topic because it requires constant attention, and there are different opinions on this in the world. Of course, there is positive and negative experience. I believe that our cause is to celebrate the positive aspects of multiculturalism, promote them and eliminate the biased attitude in the issue."

"Multiculturalism is the state policy in Azerbaijan," the President said. "I must stress that this was also dictated by our historical past. At the same time, multiculturalism is a way of life in Azerbaijan. We follow these principles in our daily life and these principles are supported and maintained by an absolute majority of the society."

According to him, there is no alternative to multiculturalism in the XXI century.

"An alternative is biliousness, discrimination, xenophobia, Islamophobia and, of course, we can not remain indifferent to such undesirable tendencies in the XXI century," the President added.

"Therefore, the formation of multicultural societies, the promotion of these ideas must be part of the activity of every responsible politician public figure," he said.

"Unfortunately, sometimes we hear other opinions that multiculturalism has no future and pessimistic mood dominates in a number of countries in connection with this issue," Ilham Aliyev added. "I believe that we must analyze on the basis of the positive world experience and promote positive experience."

According to him, there are multinational societies in most of the world countries.

"The coexistence of different religions, peoples was dictated by the time," the President said. "Today the universal values are the basis of every normal society. Of course, in this case, the problems associated with multiculturalism must be discussed in an open form."

"These problems must not be hidden, they must be openly discussed," the President said. "The positive and negative experience must be analyzed. I want to reiterate that our main goal is to contribute to the development of multicultural societies. I can say that the experience gained by Azerbaijan in this direction is positive. As I said, this is our state policy, our way of life. I believe that holding the Humanitarian Forum in Baku is an estimate of the positive aspects of this experience."

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