Speech by Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Annual Coordination Meeting

September 22, 2017

Mr. Chairman,

Mr. Secretary General,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to thank you, Mr. Chairman, and the OIC Secretary General for organizing this meeting. I also use this opportunity to express our gratitude to the State of Cote d’Ivoire for successful hosting of the 44thsession of the Council of Foreign Ministers and for the excellent leadership of the Annual Coordination Meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

This Year has been a successful year for us in regard of the reinforcing of the Islamic solidarity. 2017 was declared as Year of Islamic Solidarity by the decree of the President of Azerbaijan H.E Mr. Ilham Aliyev. We were very glad to host OIC Secretary General and other high representatives of member states in the 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue and 4th Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku.

We were honored and hoping that all our efforts will help to reinforce the bonds of unity, amity and fraternity between Muslims.

Dear Friends,

Azerbaijan is deeply concerned over wars and armed conflicts in a number of the OIC Member States, which have contributed to greater security challenges, political instability in some regions, large-scale displacement and unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

First of all I would like to point that, according to the order of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan H.E. Mr.Ilham Aliyev 100 tons of humanitarian aid has been sent to help Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar who are suffering at the result of ongoing mass violence. The current situation regarding misunderstanding of Islam in some parts of World confirms vital necessity to strengthen our joint actions to counter Islamophobia.

We are pleased to see the growing international support for the State of Palestine. I would like to reaffirm Azerbaijan’s full support to the brotherly people of Palestine in their struggle for achieving peace, stability and sustainable development. Azerbaijan consistently stands for the two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine.

20-21 July 2017 we hosted International Conference on the Question of Yerusalem in Baku, with the participation of Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestine People, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and representatives of other non-governmental and civil society organizations which has been concluded with the introduction of a communiqué on behalf of its organizers condemning the recent closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and restrictions on worshippers therein .

Distinguished Colleagues and Dear Brothers,

On behalf of my Government and people of Azerbaijan I would like to express profound gratitude to our noble Organization and its member states for full support to the just position of my country with regard to the aggression of the Republic of Armenia against Republic of Azerbaijan, which resulted with 20% of Azerbaijani lands under occupation with notorious ethnic cleansing of 1 million Azerbaijanis from the places of their origin.

The Republic of Azerbaijan once again underlines that it shall never reconcile with the occupation of its territories. The resolution of the conflict is possible only on the basis of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders.

In this regards, we also welcome the report of the meeting of the OIC Contact Group on the aggression of the Republic of Armenia against Republic of Azerbaijan, which was held here in the UN headquarters on September 19, 2017.

The statements and warmongering rhetoric of political-military leadership of Armenia and the attempts to boycott and precondition the substantive negotiations indicate the apparent unwillingness of the Armenia to engage constructively for the settlement of conflict.

Dear friends and brothers,

As you know, this year we marked the 25th anniversary of Khojaly Genocide with a heavy heart. Over the night of the 25 to 26 February 1992, following massive artillery bombardment of Khojaly, the assault on the town began from various directions. As a result of which, the armed forces of Armenia, with the help of the infantry guards regiment No.366 of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), implemented the seizure of Khojaly. Invaders destroyed Khojaly and with the particular brutality implemented carnage over its peaceful population. As a result, 613 civilians were killed, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly. Another 1000 people were wounded and 1275 taken hostage. To this day, 150 people from Khojaly remain missing.

Taking the opportunity I would like once again to express my gratitude to the Secretary General of OIC Mr. Yusef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen and the member states for the fair position and support in the adoption of the resolutions entitled “The aggression of the Republic of Armenia against the Republic of Azerbaijan”, “On the solidarity with the victims of the Khojaly massacre of 1992”, “Destruction of monuments belonging to Islamic history and culture in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan as a result of Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan” and other documents within the 44th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of OIC passed on July 10-11, 2017 in Abidjan.

Mr. Chairman,

Azerbaijan is solo candidate from OIC and NAM countries for Expo2025. I have circulated letter asking for kind support from distinguished countries to the candidature of Azerbaijan.

Thank you.

Assalami alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!

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