Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan implementing projects beneficial for region [UPDATE]

23 February 2021 17:52 (UTC+04:00)

By Vafa Ismayilova

President Ilham Aliyev has said that Azerbaijan has started implementing projects that will be beneficial for all the regional countries, and eventually, for stability and predictability in the region, Azertag reported today.

Aliyev made the remarks at a video format meeting with the co-chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Centre, Ismail Serageldin, on February 23.

"I think that today Azerbaijan really demonstrates its willingness to turn the page of hostility, turn the page of hatred, of confrontation and to build the future for the region. And actually, we already started, we started reconstruction, we started implementing projects which will be beneficial for all the regional countries, and eventually, for stability and predictability in the region," the president said.

He added that the situation in the South Caucasus region changed after the 44-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020.

"Azerbaijan restored its independence, restored international law and created actually new realities in the region and in the world. I think a lot will depend now on proper evaluation of these realities by regional countries, by big powers in order to use this opportunity to establish long-lasting peace and stability in the region," he said.

Aliyev noted that "all of us need to evaluate the new realities and planning our actions as governments, as international organizations to focus on positive opportunities of cooperation and peaceful co-existence".

The president stressed that during the war Azerbaijan observed international norms and after the war, it demonstrates a constructive position.

"Azerbaijan is committed to its obligations and during the war, we behaved in a very distant way, in a very proper way of observing international norms and regulations and after the war, we demonstrate, I think, a very constructive approach. So, I think that these realities will be long-lasting. The peace which our region was waiting for so many years have come and the peace must be long-lasting," he added.

Aliyev expressed his confidence that the Nizami Ganjavi International Centre will concentrate on the said opportunities.

"I am sure that in the activity of the centre you will also concentrate on these opportunities, on opportunities for post-war development, post-conflict situation. Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is over. It is already part of history and now we need to concentrate on the issues which are in front of us. First of all, of course, reconstruction, rehabilitation of the territories," the head of state said.

He noted that everything is devastated on Azerbaijan's liberated territories and a lot needs to be done to rebuild those territories 

"We are committed to do it. We have a strong will to do it, we have opportunities to do it, and of course, we want the international community to know the reality now more than before. Because now when foreign diplomats, international media representatives are visiting the liberated territories, I think they really see what their [Armenian] occupation created for our historical monuments, for our cultural monuments. So, those who occupied our territories destroyed everything. So, I hope that during the next events after the pandemic, there will be an opportunity for the members of the centre to visit some of the liberated territories and maybe to organize some events there," the president said.

Aliyev stressed that this issue will be part future cooperation and discussions. He thanked the centre's leadership for the support displayed during and after the war.

"I would like to express gratitude to you and to co-chair Madame Vaira Vike-Freiberga for your kind letter addressed to me, and to other members of the Board of the Centre with respect to the liberation war, which Azerbaijan conducted successfully. Your letters during the time of the war and after the war, letter of support, support of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan are highly valued in our country. I am very grateful for this very open, sincere and just approach to our cause of liberation of the territories," the head of state said. 

Ismail Serageldin congratulated President Aliyev for the "enormous achievement of having really reclaimed the territories of Azerbaijan". He highly evaluated Aliyev's declaration that all historical monuments on liberated territories are under Azerbaijan's protection regardless of religion.

"I think that’s a very important thing, and we can probably get it better known, by bringing institutions that are involved in the protection of cultural heritage like UNESCO, World Monument Fund etc. into a discussion around your declaration because that will be a model for people to say the victor is not just magnanimous but there is as you say, you want to turn the page and promote regional peace, and one way of dealing with that will be the issues of the cultural heritage which tend to be the sensitive issues that are used by some people to heat up the passions in all sides," he said.

The sides exchanged views on future plans of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center and the organization of the Baku Global Forum.

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