Threats, challenges require solidarity within OIC

By Sara Rajabova

Threats and challenges, especially those relating to the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of member states, require an increased solidarity within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Elmar Mammadyarov, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister made the remark at the annual coordination meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the OIC Member States on October 1, Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry reported.

He said 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 countries remain a source of deep concern.

“Only by strict adherence to our principles and upholding the centrality of political unanimity, we will be able to succeed in institutionalizing OIC as a venue where crucial decisions are taken and implemented for the enduring peace, security and prosperity of the Islamic world,” the minister said.

Mammadyarov noted that 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 Azerbaijani territory 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,” he said.

The 42th session of Foreign Ministers of OIC member states in late May adopted a resolution demanding from Armenia to withdraw its troops from Azerbaijani lands.

Mammadyarov further said 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.

He noted that 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 UN, including that of the State of Palestine, raised at Headquarters and UN offices alongside the flags of the member states of the UN, 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,” the minister said.

Touching upon the terrorist acts perpetrated over the past several months in Bahrain, Cameroon, Egypt, Kuwait, Nigeria, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen, Mammadyarov said it has 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.”

He said Azerbaijan strongly condemns violent extremism and terrorism in all their forms and manifestations, adding that 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,” Mammadyarov said.

He further voiced Azerbaijan’s support to the programs and initiatives of OIC and has attached particular importance to the implementation of the OIC 10-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,” Mammadyarov said.

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Sara Rajabova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SaraRajabova

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