Speech by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Chairman of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping!
Dear heads of delegations!
Ladies and gentlemen!
First of all, I want to express my gratitude to Turkey for its successful presidency in the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia and to the Chairman of the People's Republic of China for the warm hospitality and the high level of organization of the Summit. Due to its activities, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia has become an authoritative international forum to promote peace, stability and cooperation. I heartily congratulate the People's Republic of China on the transition of presidency in the CICMA to Chinese side. I am sure that the two-year chairmanship of China will contribute to the further strengthening of peace and security in Asia.
Today, the development of Azerbaijani-Chinese relations in the political, economic, humanitarian and other spheres is gratifying. At the same time, we are successfully cooperating within the framework of international organizations. Over the last two years we have worked together in the Security Council of the United Nations.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all the states that supported Azerbaijan in its election as a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council. During its presidency in the Security Council, Azerbaijan, as a member of this structure, tabled important issues related to international peace and security and put forward the initiative of strengthening cooperation in the fight against international terrorism.
Security measures in Asia are part of global security. We are in favor of a comprehensive approach to security . Issues such as the fight against terrorism, regional, energy, transport and information security, the settlement of "frozen " conflicts are closely linked with each other and necessitate a common position for the security of mankind.
Azerbaijan supports the consolidation of efforts in the fight against international terrorism. Azerbaijan has been a victim of terror itself. Only in the years of independence Armenian terrorist organization under the leadership of state bodies of Armenia carried out more than 30 terrorist attacks against Azerbaijan, in which more than 2,000 people were killed.
These acts of terror are part of Armenia’s aggressive policy against Azerbaijan. As a result of this policy, 20 per cent of Azerbaijani territories, Nagorno-Karabakh, which is our historical land, and seven adjacent districts have been occupied by Armenia. A policy of ethnic cleansing has been carried out on these lands, more than 1 million people in the country have become refugees and IDPs. In February 1992, Armenian armed forces committed an act of genocide against the civilian population of Khojaly. As a result of this genocide, 613 innocent people were killed. Today, over 10 countries have officially recognized the Khojaly massacre as an act of genocide.
The international community and international organizations recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and advocate for a just settlement of the conflict in accordance with international law. In connection with the conflict there are four UN Security Council resolutions, relevant decisions and resolutions of the Non-Aligned Movement, the OSCE, the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other international organizations. I also want to thank CICMA member-states for their support of the peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of norms and principles of international law.
The talks held with the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group have yet to make headway. Armenia is not interested in resolving the conflict. Our firm position is that the conflict should be resolved only in accordance with international law and within the framework of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity. Despite being in conflict, Azerbaijan has been undergoing a period of rapid development in recent years. Our economy has grown more than three times, the unemployment rate has dropped to 5 per cent and poverty to 5.3 per cent. This development has been achieved thanks to the stability available in Azerbaijan. At the same time, these achievements further reinforce our stability.
Various international projects in which Azerbaijan acts as a participant and initiator today have already laid a solid foundation for greater regional cooperation. In particular, I want to point to projects related to energy security. By completely redrawing the energy map of the South Caucasus and the broader region, these projects have become a very important example of cooperation benefiting all participants. Our partners in Asia account for approximately 28 per cent of the country 's oil exports.
Thus, Azerbaijan contributes to the energy security of Asian countries. I think that this cooperation still has great prospects.
Having already become a transit country linking Asia with Europe, Azerbaijan is beginning to play an important role in the transport security between the two continents. In recent years, Azerbaijan has invested heavily in upgrading its transport infrastructure. In 2003-2014, about 21 million dollars were invested in the transport sector of the country, including 13.6 billion dollars in the road transport sector, 1.3 billion dollars in the maritime transport and 2.7 billion dollars in air transport.
Azerbaijan is building the largest port on the Caspian Sea. The International Trade Seaport under construction in Alat near Baku will increase the volume of cargo at the first stage to 10 million tons and to 20 million tons at the second. In April of this year, a new terminal was opened at Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku.
We are also making a contribution to the revival of the historic Silk Road. At the beginning of next year the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be commissioned, where Azerbaijan has undertaken most of the financial load. This will be the most comfortable and shortest route linking Asia with Europe.
The telecommunications satellite Azerbaijan has put into orbit, the Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway project initiated by our country, the transit optic lines that pass through Azerbaijan and connect Europe with Asia – these are our country's contributions to information security.
In conclusion, I want to express my gratitude to the organizer, Mr. Xi Jinping, once again for the genuine hospitality, and wish the Summit success.
Thank you for your attention.
The Shanghai Summit adopted a Declaration.