TODAY.AZ / Politics

Good ties with neighbors among Azerbaijan’s foreign policy priorities [UPDATE]

17 July 2020 [12:41] - TODAY.AZ

By Ayya Lmahamad

One of Azerbaijan’s main foreign policy principles is to build relations with all countries based on mutual respect and trust, President Ilham Aliyev said on July 16 in the speech where he also called on Azerbaijan’s diplomatic missions abroad to work harder to defend the country’s national interests.

The president made the remarks while receiving the newly-appointed Foreign Affairs Minister Jeyhun Bayramov via a videoconference on July 16. Bayramov was appointed the Minister of Foreign Affairs by a presidential decree on July 15 and will replace Elmar Mammadyarov.

“Our relations with neighboring countries are a priority for us. The course of life and events show that this is the right policy. The policy of the neighboring countries towards Azerbaijan is also very positive. We have built this policy on the principles of friendship and good neighborhood. Thus, we have no problems with any neighboring country, of course, except Armenia. The problems of the past have been solved. In some cases some communities of some countries want to artificially create some problems. But it also has no effect,” the president said.

“We live in the region, we are neighbors, and this neighborhood will last forever,” the president said.

The president stated the spheres of work where Foreign Minister should focus his attention, including developing relations with the neighboring countries, Turkic speaking countries, the European Union, the Unites States, the United Kingdom, as country’s strategic investor, as well as Non-Aligned Movement, among others.

Aliyev added that Azerbaijan is a worthy member of the international community. “Respect for us is growing worldwide. This is evidenced by the support provided to Azerbaijan by the international community at different times. Our role in the world is growing, it is impossible to implement any project in the region without participation of our country, ensuring its interests.”

Furthermore, the president stated that it is necessary to improve the situation in the Foreign Affairs Ministry system, and the coordination between different departments of the ministry, including senior staff, should be ensured at the necessary level.

Moreover, Aliyev emphasized that work done in country’s foreign missions should be seriously analyzed, as country’s foreign representatives and diplomats must fully ensure the interest of the country.

“In some cases, people working in our representations are indifferent to their work; passive, unable to adequately protect and ensure the interest of our country. They are unable or unwilling to convey the truth of our country to the public. They cannot or do not want to respond to slanderous statements against Azerbaijan,” he added.

President stated that although most of the country’s diplomats working abroad meet high expectations, they should be in close contact with Azerbaijani communities living and working abroad. They must promote coordination of diaspora organizations, so that both diaspora organizations and embassies ensure Azerbaijan’s interests and convey the realities of Azerbaijan.

Moreover, he stressed that they should be in close contacts with foreign media, as unfortunately there are some cases of misinformation, intentionally fabricated, groundless rumors about Azerbaijan.

“Intentionally fabricated, groundless rumors about our country are not refuted if I do not interfere. Either they don’t want to do it, or they get other instructions. It is not a secret today that an ugly campaign is organized and coordinated against Azerbaijan,” the president stressed.

“But do our diplomatic missions abroad pay attention to this question? I can say no…In some cases they do not defend Azerbaijan’s interests in the countries where they operate, but they do defend the interest of those countries to represent themselves to high ranking officials of those countries,” he added.

“Some diplomats have betrayed the state, betrayed and do not hide it. They are controlled by the intelligence services of the countries where they live,” Aliyev said.

He stated that today, the vast majority of those who are conducting an ugly campaign against Azerbaijan, and presenting themselves as Azerbaijanis, receive money and instruction from the countries they live in.

“This is evidence of the hypocrisy of these countries. (…)This is a purposeful policy, and in fact the purpose of it to shake the national values that the Azerbaijani people have been protecting for centuries. Our diplomats should act against it. It is impossible to work on the principle ‘do not touch me, and I will not touch you’. Unfortunately, that principle has recently played a key role in our Foreign Ministry,” he said.

Aliyev stressed that the diplomacy of the country should be offensive and national interest should be fully protected.

Touching upon an issue of Armenian- Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and recent tensions happening on Azerbaijani-Armenian state border, the president stressed that as a result of measures taken in recent years, all international organizations have expressed their position on this issues, and adopted similar resolutions on territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of Azerbaijan’s borders.

He stressed that as for the settlement of the conflict, Azerbaijan will not change it position, stating that Nagorno-Karabakh is Azerbaijan’s historical land, and the territorial integrity of the country should be restored.

“Today Armenia is destroying the negotiation process, and everyone sees it. It is enough to pay attention to the statements of the Armenian leadership. Their military leadership is trying to threaten us. It wants to threaten us with the occupation of new lands. But I think that the lesson taught them these days will not be forgotten for a long time. Azerbaijan will restore its territorial integrity. There is a limit to the patience of the Azerbaijani people. Therefore, negotiations should be conducted on the essence,” he stressed.

In turn, Jeyhun Bayramov expressed his gratitude to president for this appointment and assured that he will ensure that all the tasks and strategic interests of the country are implemented in right matter.


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