By Aynur Karimova
Azerbaijan's capital Baku was host to the 18th meeting of the Conference of Special Service Bodies of Turkic-speaking States on October 8.
In a meeting with the participants of the conference President Ilham Aliyev stated Azerbaijan's commitment to strengthening security and minimizing risks.
"I must say that there are no potential threat and risks in our country," he noted. "But, naturally, we are situated in such a region where we should always very accurately monitor the processes taking place in the region, and maximally ensure the safety of our country and our people, so that Azerbaijan could continue going along the path of development. The development of any country is not possible without strong security and social-political stability."
President Aliyev also stressed the importance of coordinating efforts to resolve security problems.
"The situation in the world and in the region is changing very quickly and unfortunately, not for the better," he said. "In such conditions, you face new challenges: how to ensure security – national security, state security of our countries – in the face of the deterioration of international situation. In this case, I think that one of the important factors in reducing the risks is to coordinate your efforts, very good, trusted and friendly relations among the heads of the security services to enable you to resolve many problems and help each other in an operative way.”
President Aliyev then touched upon Azerbaijan's contribution to the fight against international terrorism.
"Azerbaijan has always actively participated in the fight against international terrorism. I must say that a few years ago, when Azerbaijan was elected to the UN Security Council, including with the support of the countries that you represent, and when we presided over the Security Council, we initiated a discussion on the topic: ‘Combat against international terrorism.’ This shows the priorities of our activity as this issue is a matter of life and safety of our citizens."
President Aliyev went on to add that Azerbaijan is also a country that has not been excluded from the horrors of terrorism.
"In the first years of independence on the threshold of 1990s and in early 1990s, Armenian terrorist organizations carried out more than 30 terror attacks on our territory," he said. "That is, we have experienced what international terrorism means, especially when the international community remains indifferent to these issues. We remained alone against international terrorism at the beginning of 1990s. We did not receive any assistance from the international community in the fight against terrorism. We were able to suppress this evil and to eradicate it with our own forces, and to punish those who had brought so much grief to innocent citizens of Azerbaijan."
President Aliyev said the terror attacks conducted by Armenia against Azerbaijan were part of a policy of occupation of Azerbaijani lands in early 1990s.
"Armenian occupation is a violation of not only international law, but also a violation of all human norms," he added.
President Aliyev also expressed confidence that the exchange of views that will take place among the Special Service Bodies of Turkic-speaking States would be practical and lead to the safety of the citizens of the Turkic states.
"We should unite more closely and join forces to ensure a safe life for our citizens. The role and functions of the intelligence services of each state is to ensure public safety and security of citizens," he concluded.
The 18th meeting of the Conference of Special Service Bodies of Turkic-speaking States brought together delegates from Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. High-level officials from Russia, Ukraine and Georgia also joined the meeting as observers with the aim of strengthening and expanding cooperation with partner states in the prevention of terrorism, religious extremism and regional and global threats to security and stability.
Addressing the meeting, the head of the Azerbaijani President's Administration, Ramiz Mehdiyev, expressed confidence that the issues to be discussed would be fruitful and yield concrete results.
In his remarks, Azerbaijani National Security Minister Eldar Mahmudov praised cooperation of the security and special service bodies of the Turkic-speaking states.
Hakan Fidan, of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization, in turn, highlighted prospects for the cooperation of special service bodies with the aim of increasing efficiency in the fight against terrorism and other transnational crimes.
Kazakhstan’s director of the Foreign Intelligence Service, Gabit Bayzhanov, also made remarks.
The meeting culminated with the signing of a final declaration and the participants agreed to hold the next – the 19th meeting of the Conference of Special Service Bodies of Turkic-speaking States – in Kazakhstan.
Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova
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