Baku, October 18, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today received participants of the 78th session of the CIS Council of Commanders of Border Troops to be held in Baku.
Welcoming the meeting participants, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- You are welcome. I am glad to welcome you to Azerbaijan. I am glad that a meeting of heads of border services of the CIS countries is being held in our country. This is not the first time that has been hosting such an event. We have met with you before, maybe not quite in this composition, but many of you have already been to our country. This is a very good event. It strengthens cooperation not only between the leaders of border services, but also between our countries.
Another CIS summit has recently been held in Sochi. Azerbaijan actively participated in this event. In general, space actively participate in many important matters in the CIS. Of course, issues of strengthening the security and the protection of borders are of great importance for all our countries. This is the basis for the security of our countries and peoples. The normal and quiet life of our citizens largely depends on the successful activities of your services. Therefore, of course, the calm, normal and stable development of our countries largely depends on cooperation, exchange of information and interaction between you.
Azerbaijan is paying great attention to the development of the border service infrastructure and to the development of the border service in general. A lot has been done in recent years in terms of strengthening the borders and provision of state-of-the-art equipment. This sphere, of course, is one of the most important areas in terms of strengthening the security.
Unfortunately, risks in the regions where our countries are located and in the world at large are growing. Therefore, of course, the coordination of efforts, the exchange of information and the joint fight against dangerous manifestations are a guarantee of our security. The situation in Azerbaijan is stable, the country is successfully developing, and there are no internal risks and potential threats. Therefore, of course, we must do everything possible to prevent dangerous elements from penetrating our border, and we are ensuring that in coordination with our neighbors and, of course, with CIS countries.
Of course, issues of combating international terrorism hold a dominant position on today's agenda. These topics are particularly relevant at almost all international summits – the fight against extremism, organized crime and drug trafficking. All these are modern threats and challenges to which our countries should adequately respond, of course. I am glad that on the whole the situation in the CIS is fairly stable, especially in today's world, when there are very disturbing processes in many regions – destabilization, internal conflicts, wars, bloody clashes. Therefore, of course, we must continue to strengthen the security of our countries and ensure that cooperation between our countries, including the sphere you are heading, is further strengthened.
I am sure that the Council of Commanders will be held at a high level and the issues to be discussed will lead to further strengthening the security of our countries and protection of our borders. We are all interested in ensuring that our borders are reliably protected from those who want to harm us. At the same time, we want then to be open to friends, tourists, businessmen, those who simply want to come and get acquainted with our countries. It is not so easy to find the right balance. We in Azerbaijan strive for this, and the liberalization of the visa regime with many countries which we implemented and the fairly free access of foreign citizens from many countries to Azerbaijan have certainly led to tangible growth of tourism, which has increased by more than 20 per cent this year and by 25 per cent last year. At the same time, reliable security also suggests that the balance may be found. We are striving for this.
Of course, without the right coordination with neighbors, with CIS member-states and our long-time friends, it will be difficult for every country to achieve this. So we attach great importance to cooperation in this sphere within the CIS. I think that you will have more meetings today and tomorrow, and the leaders of our border service will inform their colleagues about what has been done. You will also exchange opinions and experience.
I welcome you again and wish you successful work.
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