Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov met with Rashid Alimov, Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization within his working visit to the People's Republic of China

Secretary General Rashid Alimov welcoming the Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, stressed that there are favorable opportunities for the promotion of comprehensive cooperation between Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Azerbaijan and in this regard, added that this visit will contribute to the development of relations.

Noting that Azerbaijan is interested in development of institutionalized cooperation with the SCO, Minister Elmar Mammadyarov underlined the perspectives of cooperation in the areas of combating separatism, terrorism and extremism, strengthening of regional peace and security, as well as the transport and energy. Informing his interlocutor about the large-scale energy and transport projects implemented with Azerbaijan's initiative and participation in recent years he expressed his conviction that once fully operational the East-West transport corridor will contribute to the further development of cooperation between the Member States of organization and Azerbaijan along the ancient Silk Way. 

Minister highlighted that visa facilitation for nationals of some Member States applied by Azerbaijan will positively affect the people-to-people contacts and promotion of economic cooperation. Touching upon the role of Azerbaijan in the promotion of intercultural and interreligious dialogue, Minister emphasized in this regard the importance of the 7th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations to be held in Baku on 25-27 April 2016. Elmar Mammadyarov informed his counterpart about Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict which remains as a major source of threat to the regional peace and security. He emphasized that the attempts aimed at altering the internationally recognized borders of states by use of force are unacceptable, and according to the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council, the armed forces of Armenia have to be withdrawn from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan in order to achieve progress in the settlement of conflict.

Secretary General Rashid Alimov commended the intentions of Azerbaijan to build closer cooperation with SCO. He added that the cooperation in the fields such as combating terrorism, extremism and separatism, economical development, transport, energy and tourism is also priority for the organization. 

At the meeting, the sides signed a Memorandum on Granting SCO Dialogue Partner status to Azerbaijan. 

After the sighing ceremony, Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in his speech mentioned that status of SCO Dialogue Partner is an example of confidence rendered by the SCO to Azerbaijan. He expressed his assurance that the relations will further be developed between Azerbaijan and SCO according to the areas of cooperation defined by the Memorandum. Emphasizing the importance of Dialogue Partner status, Minister stressed that Azerbaijan is determined to enhance relations even at higher levels. Furthermore, he underlined the importance of fighting against the global threats such as terrorism, extremism and separatism through joint efforts. 

Praising the signing ceremony of Memorandum as a remarkable event, Secretary General Rashid Alimov expressed his assurance that the comprehensive cooperation will be developed in line with the existing mechanisms of Memorandum. 

At the end of the meeting, Elmar Mammadyarov presented a painting depicting picturesque view of Baku city to the Secretariat of CSO. 

The signing ceremony was also attended by the Ambassadors of Russia, Pakistan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Cambodia and Charge d’Affairs of Iran.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding, the sides consider the cooperation in the fields of promoting the regional stability and security, fighting against terrorism, extremism, separatism, illegal production and trafficking of drugs, cyber crime, trade, investment, energy, telecommunication, agriculture, trans-regional multi-modal transportation, culture, science, education and tourism.

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