By Laman Ismayilova
The number of co-organizers of the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue is growing, Azerbaijani Culture and Tourism Minister Abulfas Garayev said at a press-conference in Baku on May 4.
The minister added that the Forum is becoming more authoritative.
"The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been participating as a co-organizer of the forum this year,” he said. “This initiative is supported by international organizations. The current forum differs from the previous ones.”
Garayev said that a high-level meeting of international organizations is planned to be held as part of the forum this year.
“Azerbaijani First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva will take part in this meeting,” he said. “FAO's joining the forum, participation and speech of FAO Goodwill Ambassador Leyla Aliyeva are also of great interest. The parliamentarians from different countries are also planned to take part in the forum.”
The minister said that up to 40 countries participated in the first forum in 2011. “The representatives from more than 120 countries, around 50 international organizations and around 50 NGOs are expected to participate in the current forum.”
The minister added that all participants of the 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue know about the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“We have invited the Armenian representatives through international organizations,” he said. “The negotiations have been held, but the Armenian representatives are not ready for dialogue."
Garayev said that an intercultural dialogue can play an important role in resolving conflicts in the world. "We would like the conflicts to be resolved peacefully and through negotiations,” he said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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