Muslim countries can't be friends with destroyers of mosques

Muslim countries can't be friends with destroyers of mosques

On October 20, Istanbul hosted the 9th summit of the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, which was held under slogan "Expanding Opportunities Through Cooperation". This summit summed up the first stage of the organization's activity, which covers a 20-year period. Objectives for the new phase and the main areas of future activities were also determined. This organization was created in 1997, in includes Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev was invited to this event by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Aliyev recalled that in 2015 Turkey's Antalya hosted G20 summit, Turkey could invite only one country, that is not a group member, to this meeting as a special guest, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan invited Azerbaijan. As Trend notes, the head of state also drew attention of the meeting participants to the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Armenia has been occupying Azerbaijan’s historical lands, Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts. "A policy of ethnic cleansing was carried out in these territories, and more than one million our compatriots became refugees and IDPs. In 1992, Armenia committed the Khojaly genocide. As a result of this war crime, 613 innocent Azerbaijanis were killed, 106 of them being women and 63 children. Thousands of people were injured and went missing. The UN Security Council adopted four resolutions in connection with the conflict. These resolutions demand immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian Armed Forces from Azerbaijani lands. At the same time, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the OSCE and other organizations adopted similar decisions and resolutions. However, being an occupant, Armenia ignores these decisions and continues war crimes against the civilian population," Trend quoted Aliyev as saying.

The president reminded that soldiers and civilians were killed on the line of contact in April 2016 as a result of Armenia’s armed attack. “Hundreds of houses were destroyed. Azerbaijan decisively suppressed this Armenian provocation, and our army liberated a part of our lands from Armenian occupants. After this, the Jojug Marjanli village, completely destroyed by Armenia, was rebuilt. A school, a medical center and a mosque were built in this village consisting of 150 houses. This mosque is similar to the mosque, destroyed by Armenians in Shusha,” Aliyev noted.

He stressed that the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, based on the UN Security Council resolutions. "The Azerbaijani state and Azerbaijani people will never allow creation of the second so-called Armenian state on their native land. The territorial integrity of our country is not and will not be the subject of negotiations. Today we actively fight Islamophobia, which is one of the most serious threats in the world. Armenia, trying to present itself as a friend of Muslim countries, destroyed mosques and religious monuments in Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions. The country destroying mosques can never be a friend of Muslim countries," Aliyev stated.

Azerbaijan attaches particular importance to Islamic solidarity and makes its contribution. 2017 was declared the Year of Islamic Solidarity in Azerbaijan. At the same time, this year Azerbaijan held the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games, where about 3,000 athletes from 54 Muslim countries participated, Trend reminds.

The head of state noted that Azerbaijan is an initiator and active participant of international projects. ”Today, together with our partners, we are implementing the Southern Gas Corridor project. It is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the world. The agreement between Azerbaijan and Turkey on the TANAP gas pipeline, which is the main part of the Southern Gas Corridor, was signed in Istanbul in 2012, and this gas pipeline will be commissioned next year. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway, the official opening of which will be held soon, will be the shortest route between Europe and Asia. Azerbaijan invests heavily in the creation of the East-West and North-South transport corridors. These transport corridors will open new opportunities for the economic development of Eurasia," Aliyev concluded.

Summing up the results of the summit, Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed confidence that the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation will continue to contribute to the development of peace, stability and prosperity of the planet, stressing that the conflicts of recent years in Muslim-populated regions, terrorism and natural disasters have serious consequences. Noting the increasing number of attempts to link Islam to terrorism, cases of Islamophobia and xenophobia, as well as the fact that migration crisis is getting worse, Turkish President said that the D-8 countries have young and dynamically growing population, are rich with natural resources, are rapidly developing and, thanks to effective use of this potential, they can improve mutual trade turnover in a very short time from the current 100 billion to 500 billion dollars. Stressing the existence of great opportunities to expand ties in such areas as economy, trade, transport, defense industry, education and agriculture, he noted that increasing the number of D-8 members and carrying out mutual trade in national currency would further strengthen the organization.

By the end of the summit a Memorandum of Understanding between the D-8 and the Islamic Development Bank was signed.