Statement by Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the Annual Coordination Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Member States

Mr. Chairman,
Mr. Secretary General,
Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I would like to thank you, Mr. ChairmanSheikh Sabah Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, and the Secretary General, Mr. Iyad Ameen Madani, for having organized this Annual Coordination Meeting. We express our gratitude to the State of Kuwait for successful hosting of the 42nd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers and for the excellent leadership of the OIC Group in New York.

Distinguished Colleagues,

Developments occurring nowadays in a number of OIC Member States, increasing security threats and challenges they are facing, as well as the deteriorating humanitarian situation in some of our countries remain a source of deep concern. Those threats and challenges, especially those relating to the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of Member States, require an increased solidarity within OIC. Only by strict adherence to our principles and upholding the centrality of political unanimity, we will be able to succeed in institutionalising OIC as a venue where crucial decisions are taken and implemented for the enduring peace, security and prosperity of the Islamic world.

Since the eruption of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, OIC, on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, has explicitly determined the actions of Armenia on the territory of Azerbaijan as aggression and condemned in the strongest possible terms the use of force against Azerbaijan and the occupation of its territories. Taking this opportunity, I would like on behalf of Azerbaijani people and first of all refugees and IDPs once again reiterate our cordial appreciation and thanks the OIC Member States for their solidarity with and support for the just cause of Azerbaijan.

Mr. Chairman,

Azerbaijan reaffirms its full support to the brotherly people of Palestine in their struggle for achieving peace and establishing an independent State, with East Jerusalim as its capital. Azerbaijan is committed to a two-State solution that would bring peace and stability to the Middle East and commend all efforts towards that end.

The recent adoption by the UN General Assembly of a resolution on raising the flags of non-member observer States at the United Nations, including that of the State of Palestine, raised at Headquarters and United Nations offices alongside the flags of the States Members of the United Nations, has become a yet another reflection of the legitimate will of the State of Palestine to become a full-fledged member of the United Nations.

Mr. Chairman,

The terrorist acts perpetrated over the past several months in Bahrain, Cameroon, Egypt, Kuwait, Nigeria, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen have once again demonstrated the need for stronger solidarity with the countries and peoples at the forefront of a struggle against terrorism, as well as for strengthened international cooperation and enhanced individual and collective efforts towards eradicating this scourge. We express our deep sympathy and condolences to the families of those killed, as well as to the peoples and Governments of the States subjected to terrorist attacks.

Azerbaijan strongly condemns violent extremism and terrorism in all their forms and manifestations. All terrorist acts are unjustifiable regardless of their motivation, constitute serious crimes and must be condemned and prosecuted.

At the same time, the war on terrorism cannot and must not be used to target any religion or culture. That principle must be part and parcel of any counter-terrorism strategy. We cannot but once again express our deep concern over the alarming rise of Islamophobia. We strongly condemn all attacks against our religion and reject any attempt to justify them under the pretext of freedom of expression. Further consolidation of our efforts is required to stop the cultivation of hatred and false prejudices towards Islam and Muslims.

Mr. Chairman,

Azerbaijan supports the programs and initiatives of OIC and has attached particular importance to the implementation of the OIC Ten-year Program of Action and the relevant measures taken on its basis. In that regard, we look forward to the soonest adoption of the “OIC-2025: Program of Action”, which would provide us with the further roadmap to be pursued during the next decade.

In conclusion, I would like to wish successful deliberations to this important event and extend our appreciation to the OIC Secretary General Madani and his highly dedicated team for the professionalism in the realization of the goals and principles of our Organization.

Thank you.