9th Bosphorus Summit under motto "Sustaining Peace and Development for All" gets underway in Istanbul

Istanbul, November 26, AZERTAC

The 9th Bosphorus Summit under the motto "Sustaining Peace and Development for All" has kicked off in Istanbul.

Organized by the International Cooperation Platform, which was established with direct support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the 9th Bosphorus Summit brings together heads of state and government, officials, as well as heads of NGOs, analytical centers, and global companies from more than a hundred countries.

Addressing the event, Azerbaijani President's Assistant for Public and Political Affairs Ali Hasanov, who represented the country, thanked the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the government of the Republic of Turkey for the organization of the Summit.

“The world, the region that we live in, is now at such a stage of history when the development of each state and each community can have a crucial impact on the development of other states and communities, and the development of all can have a crucial impact on the development of separate states and communities. In order to ensure this development, the world and our region need peace, peaceful co-existence and tranquility more than ever. Where there is no peace, no security, no tranquility, where there are clashes and conflicts, there can be no sustainable development. Sustainable development, progress, prosperity and stability can exist only where peace, tranquility and security are ensured,” the President’s Assistant said.

“Unfortunately, the painful reality of our time is that many nations and states have chosen to disrupt development of others, invade, occupy others, arm themselves, instead of choosing to ensure sustainable development and progress in science, education and culture through collaboration.

This kind of anti-humane historical choice is the main cause of humanitarian disasters existing in our region - civil confrontations, occupational wars that threaten the territorial integrity of other states, emergence of millions of refugees, and human catastrophes.

Millions of people are leaving their hundred and thousand years old lands and homes in search of shelter in other regions and countries they consider to be more stable in order just to survive and not to become victims of wars.

The wave of refugees is a source of tension for millions of migrants who experience difficulties in adapting to new geo-climatic conditions, legal regulations, civil and language values, as much as it causes problems for local populations who regard the growing number of aliens as a threat to their cultures and security, their calm and stable environments. This tension is nowadays running through geopolitical axes of the entire world, from Central and North American borders to the borders of Syria and Turkey, Myanmar and Bangladesh,” Ali Hasanov added.

“Unfortunately, the South Caucasus has been facing such a catastrophe for nearly 30 years. In the first years of our independence, neighbouring Armenia waged a policy of aggression and laid historically and legally unfounded territorial claims against Azerbaijan, which resulted in more than one million of our citizens becoming refugees and internally displaced persons and occupation of 20 percent of our lands. Our thousand and hundred years old religious monuments were vandalized and destroyed in the occupied lands, and the OSCE fact-finding mission proved the cases of vandalism. More than 10 countries and numerous international organizations have now recognized that Khojaly genocide was committed against Azerbaijanis on the Azerbaijani lands. International reports at one point were emphasizing the fact that every eighth refugee and IDP is Azerbaijani. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict not only poses a threat to fragile peace in the South Caucasus, but also jeopardizes security in the entire Europe and world. It is rooted in disregard for international law, other countries` territorial integrity and major religions` call for peace, as well as in megalomania, claims to the territories from the sea to the sea and desire to resort to any falsifications and human crimes in order to realize these claims. No nation can normally build an independent state and develop by doing so.

Azerbaijan is today playing a special role in ensuring economic and cultural integration in the world, namely in Europe and the Middle East, and ensuring energy security in Europe. Giant energy and transport projects implemented by Azerbaijan – Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, Southern Gas Corridor, TANAP, TAP, North-South and East-West transport projects, not only ensure energy security, but also connect continents to each other and redraw the world`s geo-economic map. As President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said, Azerbaijan-initiated projects benefit all participant states, in particular our neighbours. Suffice it to emphasize the benefits of the recently-inaugurated STAR Refinery to both Turkey and Azerbaijan. But the criminal Armenian regime, which like medieval invaders prefers easy ways of getting rich, has been isolated from regional initiatives. And it must be so. The military junta, which is pursuing a policy of aggression, has brought its people catastrophe, not happiness.”

“Azerbaijan is closely involved in peacemaking efforts in the region, and is one of the active participants of cooperation programs of the OSCE, NATO, European Union and CIS. Azerbaijan maintains cooperation with all its neighbours in bilateral, trilateral and multilateral formats, except the aggressor country. Had we not faced military aggression against our territorial integrity, had we not needed to use our financial and human resources to end the occupation, address the refugee and IDP problem, restore the destroyed infrastructure, search for and build alternative routes to short transport and communication lines running through our occupied territories or the territory of the aggressor, promote global awareness of our just cause, arm ourselves in order to restore our territorial integrity, both Azerbaijan and the region would have had a completely different level of development.

We dream of such a region, such a world where people who live in the same geography with us, who share our culture or have similar cultures, do not chose to be lost or migrate, but chose to stay, develop and be taken. Building such a world, such a region is possible. To do it, everyone should pluck up the courage to say "stop" to the aggressor, we should combine our efforts to this end,” the Azerbaijani President’s Assistant said.

“Turkey has been working tirelessly to solve conflicts, restore lasting and sustainable peace in the region. Having grown into a major global geopolitical player under distinguished Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has been making enormous contribution to finding fair solutions to regional conflicts, including the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, through its policy, peacemaking efforts and intensive diplomatic struggle,” Ali Hasanov concluded.

The two-day summit will continue with panel sessions.

Sabir Shakhtakhti

Special Correspondent

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