Azerbaijani FM: Prolonged and unresolved conflicts tend to provide fertile ground for violent extremism

Baku, April 26, AZERTAC 

“Prolonged and unresolved conflicts tend to provide fertile ground for violent extremism,” said Azerbaijani Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov as he addressed Plenary Session 1: Platforms and Partnerships for the Prevention of Violent Extremism as part of the 7th Global Forum of the UNAOC. “And this is not only because of the suffering and lack of governance resulting from the conflict itself but also because such conflicts allow violent extremist groups to exploit deep-rooted grievances in order to garner support and seize territory and resources and control populations”. That’s why, it didn’t come as a surprise to see the footages of ASALA terrorists in our occupied lands during the recent breach of cease-fire by Armenia.”

He said: “Had the international community been listening to us then, sticking to universal norms and principles, and taking bold steps to stop violent extremism and all of its manifestations and consequences, we could have been in a much better place today to stumble a domino effect and tackle this phenomenon. Still, it is never too late and I have some ideas to share for our common strategy.”

“There is no better guidance than universally accepted norms and principles. So, my first proposal is to reinforce the norms and principles of international law. It is like the base of a building; if it is not reinforced over time, it starts crippling. That’s why, it is of paramount importance to remind in every opportunity, to insert in every document, and to demand in every case the supremacy of the norms and principles,” said Mr Mammadyarov.

“We should unite and cooperate. UN should be in a lead as the only universal organization, but all other fora have the role to play. The OIC, for example, during its recent summit in Istanbul reaffirmed its support for the Plan to prevent violent extremism and stressed in this regard Member States’ rejection of extremism, violence, sectarianism and factionalism. The OIC also reaffirmed the importance of addressing the causes of violent extremism in a comprehensive manner. It also underscored the need to adopt a comprehensive Islamic strategy to combat terrorism and extremism. This is the way for other international organizations and formats to act and interact with each other.”

The FM said: “In our common efforts, we also need an “out of the box” thinking. Our diplomatic efforts should be substantiated with serious and continuous joint research and cooperation by and between academic institutions, as well as global forums for intellectuals and public authorities.” “Think tanks in Azerbaijan have extensive expertise and experience in this field and annual global humanitarian, intercultural, youth, gender-related forums in my country are our contributions in countering violent extremism and we are ready to share and discuss collaborations,” he added.

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