Azerbaijani president receives OIC Sec-Gen (PHOTO) (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted April 8 at 19:16)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Apr. 8
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yousef Bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, Trend reports with reference to the presidential press service.
Welcoming the Secretary General, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Thank you for coming, you visited us frequently. This is a very good demonstration of our cooperation and of your attitude to our country. First of all, before starting our conversation I would like to award you with the state order of Azerbaijan, Order of "friendship" – "Dostlug" for your outstanding contribution to the development of cooperation between the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Azerbaijan.
President Ilham Aliyev presented "Dostlug" Order to Yousef Bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen.
President Ilham Aliyev: Also, taking this opportunity, I would like to express gratitude for continued support to Azerbaijan with respect to the resolution of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. As you know the conflict has been resolved by us unilaterally. The war which lasted 44 days, put an end to occupation of Azerbaijani lands which lasted for 30 years and led to suffering of more than a million of Azerbaijanis and a total devastation of our cities and villages. Now when foreign journalists and diplomats are visiting the liberated territories, they can see that Armenians destroyed everything. All the cities, all the villages historical, religious sights, mosques, cemeteries have been demolished. And this is a reflection of the Islamophobia, Azerbaijanophobia, vandalism, because as I said many times our cities have been demolished not during the first Karabakh war but after, during the times of occupation. That was a deliberate policy to erase all Azerbaijani and Islamic heritage from these historical lands of Azerbaijan, and to change the origin of those lands. I know that ambassadors, members of the Contact Group on Nagorno-Karabakh settlement visited the occupied territories recently and they have seen it with their own eyes. They made public statements. We are very grateful for that. Now we want the whole world to see it and to realize that what we have done was a just cause, based on international law, on UN charter, on our right for self-defense, and was based on justice. So, we restored justice. The aggressor was thrown away from our lands, and now it’s a time to restore. But it will take time, of course, because the biggest problem is mines. After war stopped we had already dozens of casualties, including those who have been killed by the mines and Armenia did not give us a map of mines. So, this is another war crime, because it is an obligation to do it. But they continue this policy against Azerbaijanis even after the war already stopped for many months. But we will do everything what is needed, demining process is going. Already we are planning for reconstruction, master plans of the cities, of villages being already in the phase of preparation and, of course, we want our brothers from Islamic World to come to see to visit and to see what they have done to our historical heritage and to see the process of reconstruction. And of course, I will be also very glad to see you sometimes in the future after we start already the process of reconstruction.
Secretary General Yousef Bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen: Thank you very much Mr. President, first and foremost for inviting us, me and the delegation of the Contact Group to see by their eyes what is happening. My relationship with you personally Mr. President, instil in my heart now and then and will continue so. So, I congratulate you Mr. President, every time I come to Baku, I see different things, development everywhere. I mean it’s not the same city I saw before. I am sure that you are behind all this development and this progressive work and concentration of development, because this is what the average Azerbaijani wants. Secondly, Mr. President, I congratulate you for this big victory. It’s not victory for you, it’s victory for us. And we are so happy for this. And I commend you Mr. President for your leadership, and for your patience. 30 years I mean if this was some other country, they wouldn’t be patient, 30 years to occupy the land, and your cause is very just. There is an international law with you, OIC with you, all the resolutions with you, and the territory is yours, and my understanding is that constitutes 20 percent also of the total land. This is a big chunk for Azerbaijan, your Excellency, Mr. President. But this wisdom paid off. So, with your wisdom, with your patience, with your persistence, Alhamdulillah, it came to the happy ending.