Details added (first version posted on May 3, 11:54)
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 4
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today received a delegation led by Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yousef Al-Othaimeen.
President Ilham Aliyev stressed that relations with the OIC constitutes an important part of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy and that the country is an active member of this organization. The head of state noted that in recent years Azerbaijan has hosted a number of OIC-related events at a ministerial level. The president said Azerbaijan is actively fighting against Islamophobia.
“Solidarity and cooperation between Muslim countries is one of the most important issues on our political agenda. Our initiatives in this regard are serving a noble aim – to make Islamic countries closer to each other in political, economic and other areas,” noted President Aliyev.
Saying Azerbaijan has always been in solidarity with brotherly Muslim countries at international organizations, especially in the United Nations, President Ilham Aliyev hailed the strong support of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for Azerbaijan.
President Ilham Aliyev said the people of Azerbaijan highly appreciate a decision to launch a contact group on Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan at the last summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the organization’s just position on the conflict.
“This position is playing an important role in building a solid foundation of the relations between Azerbaijan and the OIC,” noted the president.
The head of state expressed his confidence that the country’s relations with the organization will further strengthen at bilateral and international levels.
President Aliyev noted that declaration of 2017 as a Year of Islamic Solidarity in Azerbaijan and the country’s hosting the Islamic Solidarity Games in the coming days will strengthen unity between Muslim countries and peoples.
OIC Secretary General Yousef Al-Othaimeen, for his part, said that Azerbaijan is an important member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Islamic family in political, economic, cultural, social areas and in terms of cooperation among young people.
“This is extremely important. Development processes and tolerance in Azerbaijan are an example to the Islamic world. Renovation works, green spaces and cleanliness in Baku amazed me. Azerbaijan is a very beautiful country,” he added.
Touching upon the Islamic Solidarity Games that will be hosted by Azerbaijan, Yousef Al-Othaimeen described them as a highly important international sports event.
Yousef Al-Othaimeen stressed that the Games created very good opportunities for all Muslim countries to participate in this event and familiarize themselves with ongoing development processes in Azerbaijan.
They discussed Azerbaijan’s tourism potential. Great opportunities for developing tourism in Azerbaijan were emphasized during the meeting.