Azerbaijan attaches great importance to participation in CIS (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 15:13)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 10
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has not exhausted its potential - it is a platform for cooperation, collaboration, and discussion of topical issues of regional and international life, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev said Oct. 10, Russia24 news channel reported.
The president made the remarks while delivering a speech at a meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of States in Minsk, Belarus.
"As colleagues, who have for years communicated and settled important issues, we naturally need to discuss all issues of our concern in such an open and sincere atmosphere," President Aliyev said.
He went on to add that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to its participation in the CIS.
"We believe that our organization has great achievement in interaction, coordination, and better understanding of each other's problems, as well as regarding the settlement of other important issues," the president said.
"We are also very actively cooperating with the majority of the CIS member states on a bilateral basis," Aliyev said. "I believe the bilateral ties strengthen the relations within our organization, and we will further strive to boost the potential of bilateral cooperation."
President Aliyev thanked Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko for the excellent conditions for holding the next CIS meeting in Minsk. Ilham Aliyev also congratulated Lukashenko and all the country's citizens with the progress made by Belarus lately.
"Minsk is a beautiful, clean, modern city, so we, as your friends, are heartily happy for your success and, of course, we wish all the best to the Belarusian people," President Aliyev said.
He also said there are good developments in the economy, and in the investment sector in the CIS.
Further on, President Aliyev said that today, the attention is being paid to the issues that cause concern, like regional and international security.
"We are concerned of what is happening not so far from our borders," the president said. "The situation in the Middle East, and on the European side, of course, requires adequate evaluation, and each country must, with its actions, strive to make sure that it is contributing to confidence-building measures, security and cooperation."
"We in Azerbaijan see our role in regional and international affairs this way, and we believe that the policy, pursued by our country, is aimed at reducing the risks, and stabilizing the situation," President Aliyev said.
Azerbaijani president went on to say that political will and economic potential play important roles in this regard.
"The initiatives that Azerbaijan promotes in the CIS, as well as within regional and bilateral cooperation, serve to reinforcing security, predictability and cooperation. We are actively observing this cooperation in the transport sector as well," the president said.
"We recently discussed the cooperation between the Caspian littoral states in the transport sector during the Caspian states' summit. I think there are very good opportunities in the CIS and some of them have already been realized," President Aliyev added.
"The investments in the transport infrastructure link our countries in the long term and create additional opportunities for cooperating, as well as making additional profits," the president said.
He said Azerbaijan, as an energy producing country, is naturally interested in cooperating with its partners in this sector.
"I believe that the initiatives and projects initiated by Azerbaijan, serve to boosting the region's energy security, and there are good opportunities in this area for investment projects, for greater coordination of efforts in this direction, as the energy security issues are directly related to the issues of national security of each country," Aliyev said.
"Of course, the countries with sufficient energy resources have more responsibility in ensuring the energy security of its partners and neighbours," the president underscored.
The president said that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the cultural cooperation, which is the basis of the CIS.
"Baku has recently hosted the traditional fourth International Humanitarian Forum," the president said. "The representatives of our countries, as well as those from over 60 other countries attended it. The humanitarian cooperation, the issues related to interreligious dialogue, and a dialogue of civilizations, related to the multiculturalism, are of great importance. I think that the positive experience of our countries testifies to the fact that the multi-cultural society is the only way for the development. The absolute majority of countries are multi-confessional countries and the multi-national countries. The mono-ethnic countries are an exception to the practice."
The president went on to say that humanitarian cooperation and mutual understanding among people of different faiths and ethnic groups are important for each country, for each country's national consent, as well as for the cooperation of the CIS countries.
"The reason is that the countries with different histories, cultures, religions are represented as part of our organization. We are united by common interests and cooperation," said Aliyev.
The president said the positive experience of the CIS as an organization may also be useful for solving the problems associated with intercultural and intercivilizational dialogue.
"In other words, I would like to say that we will continue participating actively in the CIS activity," the president said.
Aliyev once again thanked Alexander Lukashenko and expressed hope that dealing with the issues at hand will further unite the CIS countries.