Statement by Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the extraordinary session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC

January 19, 2017, Kuala Lumpur

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem.

Dear Mr. Chairman,

Mr. Secretary General,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I would like to express heartfelt gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Malaysia, Honorable Prime Minister and to my good friend and brother Foreign Minister the Honourable Dato' Sri Anifah Hj. Aman for the excellent organization of our session and warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation. We also highly commend the superb work done by the newly elected Secretary General of OIC Mr. Yusuf bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen in the direction of urgent reaction to the problems of Muslim’s communities in the World, including preserving their dignity, culture and religious identity.

As a country, which continuously promotes Islamic cultural and spiritual values all over the world and expresses its strong solidarity with Islamic Ummah, Azerbaijan is highly interested in the enhancement of OIC proactive policy and looks forward to strengthening its relations with the brotherly Islamic countries. I have the honor to underline that the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan H.E. Ilham Aliyev has signed the Declaration on announcing Year of 2017 as a Year of Islamic Solidarity.

Mr. Chairman,

The general overview of the current situation in a number of Muslim countries remains a deep concern for all of us. This shows a necessity for reaffirming our commitment to Islamic solidarity and increasing support to those in need. We must remain consistent in defending the just cause of our member states and to protect the rights of Muslim brothers and sisters in non-Muslim countries.

To the deepest regret, the situation in Rohingya continues to be a serious challenge for the Islamic Ummah and requires a unified stand of the OIC member states. We should not remain indifferent to the grave violence and humanitarian crisis that forced thousand of Muslims flee their homes in the Rakhine state.

Azerbaijan, which has faced longstanding problem of refugees and internally displaced persons, as a result of the military aggression of the Republic of Armenia with notorious facts of occupation and ethnic cleansing, has full understanding of those who suffered from injustice and sufferings. Therefore, we extremely condemn the acts of repression as killing and arrest of Rohingya civilians, destruction of their homes and religious buildings and call upon the leadership of Myanmar to eliminate this humanitarian crisis and restore stability and dignity in the Muslim populated part of Myanmar.

At this point, I express our full support for the Republic of Turkey, as co-sponsor of the Alliance of Civilizations activities with regard to a meeting between the Buddhist and Muslim communities in order to promote interfaith and inter-communal dialogue. I believe this approach is utmost important and must be continued as it is extremely important to build up a solid base for promoting more understanding which will lead to more predictability.

I would like to express my believe that the efforts of the OIC Contact Group on Myanmar to restore peace between Myanmar government and Muslims community living in the Rakhine state, preserving their safety and providing them fundamental human rights.

Distinguished Colleagues,

Israeli-Palestinian conflict is very painful issue for us. I would like to reiterate Azerbaijan’s full support to the brotherly people of Palestine in their struggle for achieving peace, stability and establishment of an independent State. Azerbaijan stands for the two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which is the only guarantee of achieving the long-awaited, comprehensive, lasting and just peace, security and sustainable development in this sacred land. We highly commend the work done by the OIC in supporting the Palestinian people and serving the Palestinian cause. 

In conclusion, I would like to wish successful deliberations to this important event and express our high appreciation to OIC Secretary General Mr. Yusuf bin Ahmad Al-Otheimeen and his highly dedicated team for the professionalism in the realization of the goals and principles of our Organization.

Thank You.

Esselamu aleykum ve rahmetullahi ve berekatuhu.

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