Ali Hasanov: Double standards create obstacle to resolute fight against ethnic separatism (PHOTO)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 22
The 13th high-level meeting on “Addressing the Humanitarian Challenges of a Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”, jointly organized by the Nizami Ganjavi International Center and the Marianna V.Vardinoyannis Foundation and aimed at preparing the 6th Global Baku Forum, kicked off in Athens, Greece on Nov. 22.
The forum is attended by Azerbaijani President’s Assistant for Public and Political Affairs Ali Hasanov, Chairman of the State Committee on Work with Diaspora Nazim Ibrahimov, prominent statesmen and politicians of countries of the European Union and the Mediterranean, members of the Management Board of Nizami Ganjavi International Center – former presidents of Latvia Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Valdis Zatlers, former president of Serbia Boris Tadic, former president of Croatia Ivo Josipovic, former president of Bulgaria Petar Stoyanov, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyannis, public figures, heads of Azerbaijani diaspora organizations in Europe, scientists and media workers.
The goal of the event is to share ideas and initiatives for prevention of humanitarian crises in the Mediterranean, to discuss migration, integration, national identity and multiculturalism, in particular, separatism and self-determination issues.
Addressing the event, Ali Hasanov noted that the partnership of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center and the Marianna V. Vardinoyannis Foundation plays an important role in strengthening the ties between the countries and the whole region.
He said the high-level Athens meeting is dedicated to a very relevant topic that concerns the modern world.
It is very important to hold discussions to find a way to solve the crises caused by dangerous trends such as international terrorism and ethnic separatism, he noted.
“We are all concerned with the difficulties in addressing refugee and migrant problems, human trafficking and smuggling, and threats to political and economic stability, transportation and energy security,” said Hasanov. “Observations show that ethnic separatism and its negative manifestations have a special place among these threats.”
The top official noted that the strengthening tendency of ethnic separatism in the modern world is one of the important factors that negatively affect the regional and international security, mankind’s life in peace and tranquility.
“Today, there are more than 50 main centers of ethnic separatism in the world, which cover an area of 12.7 million square kilometers and more than 220 million people. More than 20 conflicts that have arisen as a result of ethnic separatism lead to military clashes,” said the Azerbaijani top official.
He said that after the end of the Cold War, a new wave of ethnic separatism tendencies emerged in the former Soviet Union.
“Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Azerbaijan, Abkhazia and Ossetia conflicts in Georgia, and Transnistrian conflict in Moldova have become sources of potential threat to the region’s stability. These conflicts lead to gross violations of international legal principles and emergence of serious threats to territorial integrity and sovereignty of states,” he said.
Hasanov emphasized that the resolute fight against ethnic separatism by such authoritative international organizations as the UN, OSCE and the Council of Europe is one of important issues today. Otherwise, ethnic separatism, as a negative trend, can turn a large part of the world into an arena of interethnic conflicts, he added.
Unfortunately, currently, the double standards policy in the system of international relations hinders the resolution and principled fight against ethnic separatism, said Hasanov.
In some cases, leading international organizations are indifferent whether all the states of the world follow the legal norms, which include the elimination of ethnic separatism, the effective methods of fighting and a mechanism for punishing criminals, he added.
This casts shadow on the objectivity of organizations such as the UN, OSCE and the Council of Europe, Hasanov noted, adding that therefore, those leading international organizations should abandon the double standards and increase their efforts to resolve ethnic conflicts within international legal norms.
“Having declared its keenness to establish relations with the European Union back in 1993, my country embarked on collaboration with this organization in a variety of fields. The European Union highly appreciates what Azerbaijan has done under the Neighborhood Policy and Eastern Partnership initiatives as well as in the field of civil society building. Azerbaijan and the EU share common geopolitical interests with regard to the regional security of the South Caucasus and the Caspian-Black Sea basin, with large transnational corporations from the EU being closely involved in transnational projects in the region,” said Hasanov.
“The implementation of transnational energy and transport projects such as Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum oil and gas pipelines, as well as Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway has been possible due to the strategic partnership between Azerbaijan and the EU. The EU supports Azerbaijan’s policy of joint use of the Caspian Sea’s energy resources and their export to the European markets through alternative transnational projects, and reconstruction of multiple transit systems within the East-West and North-South transport corridors to modern standards,” noted the presidential assistant.
He noted that the partnership agreement signed between the EU and Azerbaijan in 2007 was one of the important steps towards the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor.
“Initiated by Azerbaijan, projects such as the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) have won necessary support from the EU and have been included in the list of the European Commission’s priority energy security projects that serve common interests. The EU also highly appreciates what Azerbaijan has done on the Southern Gas Corridor project, which envisages delivery of big energy resources of the Caspian basin and the Middle East to the European markets,” said Hasanov.
He noted that Azerbaijan is considered as one of the EU’s reliable partners not only thanks to its role in ensuring energy supply and security of Europe and partnership within Neighborhood Policy, but also for its direct involvement in peace-building processes in different parts of the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Balkans, etc., and for provision of NATO with non-military resources and a safe air corridor.
Currently, negotiations are underway on a new agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan, said Hasanov.
“I believe the signing of this document will open up plenty of opportunities for reinforcing wide-ranging cooperation in political dialogue, human rights, trade, investment, economy, legislation, culture, etc.,” he noted.
The presidential assistant added that unresolved issues, such as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, hinder the development of Azerbaijan’s high-level partnership with the European Union.
Despite the demands of the relevant UN and EU resolutions, Armenia continues its occupation policy against Azerbaijan, noted Hasanov.
“We believe the EU’s tough stance regarding this aggressor state may be one of the important factors strengthening the strategic partnership ties between Azerbaijan and the structure,” he added.
In conclusion, Ali Hasanov once again wished success in the work of the high-level meeting.