Azerbaijan's African focus as NAM chair gets approval by continental nations
Azerbaijan as the chair of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is making a valuable contribution to the development of the welfare of the African continent, Azernews reports, citing Egyptian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Hisham Nagy.
The ambassador made the remarks at a conference on "Role of the African continent in the assessment of Non-Aligned Movement" dedicated to Africa Day on May 26.
The diplomat urged unity for the sustainable development of not only the African continent but also the whole world under the new geopolitical reality. He expressed appreciation of Azerbaijan’s successful chairmanship in the NAM.
In turn, Azerbaijan's Permanent Representative to the African Union (AU) Elman Abdullayev stated that the country seeks to bring the activities of the NAM to a new level.
"Azerbaijan's presidency is very important within the framework of the NAM. The current geopolitical realities and challenges pose new challenges for us. Azerbaijan has a historic mission that it must continue," Abdullayev said.
According to him, throughout history, African countries have made the greatest contribution to the development of the NAM, and Azerbaijan is in dialogue with them.
"Africa is a dynamically developing continent. We are considering how the NAM can contribute to solving the problems of the African continent," Abdullayev added.
Speaking at the conference, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov noted the constantly developing cooperation between Azerbaijan and African countries.
Noting that work is underway to develop and diversify ties between Azerbaijan and the countries of the African continent, the minister said that ties deepened further during the period of Azerbaijan's chairmanship of the NAM.
“The African continent plays an important role in the NAM. Azerbaijan provided humanitarian and medical assistance to African countries to reduce the impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, Azerbaijan, together with UNESCO, implemented in these countries projects in the sphere of development of girls' education," Bayramov added.
Separately, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Azerbaijan Mohammed Adil Embarch expressed his wish for more representation of African countries in Azerbaijan.
He stated that there are five embassies of African nations in the Azerbaijani capital - Baku, and all of them are states representing northern Africa.
"However, it is necessary that more African countries be represented in Azerbaijan," Embarch noted.
The diplomat added that African countries are striving to expand and diversify relations with Azerbaijan.
According to the ambassador, today's conference in Baku will contribute to the relations between the peoples of Azerbaijan and the African continent.
"The African community itself holds events dedicated to its culture all over the world, but everything is different in Azerbaijan. Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov himself took the initiative and contributed to the organization of the celebration of Africa Day," Embarch also added.
The main purpose of the conference dedicated to Africa Day was to discuss the role of African heritage in the history of the Non-Aligned Movement and address how the movement can better promote the interests of African countries in the current context of international relations.
Diplomatic corps accredited in Azerbaijan, academic circles, researchers, students from African Union countries, as well as members of NGOs, and numerous media representatives attended the event.
It should be noted that African countries, making up almost 45 percent of the total number of the NAM states, are actively involved in promoting their values and fundamental principles.
As the current chair of the organization, Azerbaijan has identified the African continent as one of the priority regions to focus on during its chairmanship.