Today Azerbaijan as a relatively new independent country plays an important role in building bridges between Europe and Asia, said President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev at the opening ceremony of the 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue under the motto "Building dialogue into action against discrimination, inequality and violent conflict” at the Heydar Aliyev Center.
"Political, economic, cultural and bridges from practical point of view, connectivity, transportation. Last year we celebrated the 27th anniversary of our independence and during this period of time Azerbaijan transformed into a modern, developing country with modern infrastructure and with a very clear vision for the future. One of the main problems we are facing for many years is the Armenian occupation. For more than 25 years Armenia continues to occupy our historical land Nagorno-Karabakh, and seven other districts of Azerbaijan. This is brutal violation of international law. Our people were subject of ethnic cleansing, more than one million refugees became homeless as a result of Armenian aggression and occupation. The OSCE twice sent a fact-finding mission to occupied territories and their report clearly show that all our historical heritage, all our historical religious monuments are destroyed. United Nations Security Council adopted 4 resolutions demanding immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from our territories and these resolutions remain on paper. So this is one of the indicators that sometimes resolutions of the Security Council are not implemented for so many years and there is no mechanism of implementation or if there is a mechanism it is not applied and thus Azerbaijani lands are still under occupation. Numerous international organizations like the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Non-Alligned Movement, OSCE, Council of Europe and other adopted similar decisions and resolutions with respect to territorial integrity of Azerbaijan," the President said.
The Head of State noted that territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is recognized by the whole world and must be restored and the conflict must be resolved based on international law norms, relative UN Security Council resolutions, the UN Charter, Helsinki Final Act and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan: "Despite this huge problem and humanitarian catastrophe, Azerbaijan managed to transform into a modern country with very active foreign policy with economic policy which allowed us to improve largely the living standards of our people. On foreign policy track Azerbaijan is a reliable partner to many countries. We area active member of Islamic Cooperation Organization, we have very close ties with European Union and with nine members of EU Azerbaijan adopted documents on strategic partnership."