Baku, Azerbaijan, May 22
Azerbaijan is ready to share its historic experience and cooperate with its European partners in the field of promotion of multiculturalism, said Elmar Mammadyarov, the minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan.
He made the remarks at the 4th Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga, Latvia.
Mammadyarov said that today all ethnicities and religions enjoy equal rights and privileges in Azerbaijan, multicultural society with its deep historical roots makes Azerbaijan an "island of peace and prosperity".
"We are convinced that there is no any alternative to promotion of multiculturalism," Mammadyarov said. "Modern world cannot afford self-alienation and isolation which can lead to violence and strife. "
Speaking about the Azerbaijan-EU relations, Mammadyarov said that in Azerbaijan's case pragmatism and focus has remained in the heart of the policy towards strengthening relations with the EU.
"Since 2004 GDP grew 3.5 times which is a record figure in the world. In the last 11 years the volume of investments reached 180 billion USD. Our foreign exchange reserves which stood at 1.8 billion USD in 2004 now exceed 50 billion USD. The economic ratings of influential international organizations confirm that Azerbaijan is a front-runner in terms of possessing sustainable economic growth in the region," said Mammadyarov.
The minister added that all these developments contribute to the modernization of the country which goes hand-in-hand with consistent political reforms.
"Azerbaijan acknowledges that vibrant civil society and community participation can take an active role in democratic consolidation and economic prosperity in the country," he said. "Political stability is our prized asset which creates further advantages to foster our cooperation with our worldwide partners."