Turkic Council to accumulate efforts on Karabakh settlement
Last week the 5th summit of the Council of Cooperation of Turkic-speaking States took place in Astana. Presidents Nursultan Nazarbayev, Ilham Aliyev, Almazbek Atambayev, the head of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Ismet Yılmaz, and the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkmenistan Sapardurdy Toylyyew participated in it. The Turkic Council works as a general structure in the spheres of economics, science, education, transport, tourism, sport and other spheres.
Opening the meeting, the President of Kazakhstan expressed the view that projects on increasing the transit capacity of the Caspian Sea would play a big role in the development of cooperation between the member states of the Turkic Council in various spheres, including tourism.
Ismet Yılmaz stated that the Turkic Council, which was established by the Nakhichevan Agreement in 2009, has already contributed to the development of contacts. He pointed out the importance of establishing a common TV-channel and news agencies in Turkic-speaking states. Ilham Aliyev was sure that a common TV-channel would reach an international audience in a short period of time: “Today information security takes an important place in the world; and every country should be ready for this. We must provide our information security and present the truth about our countries to the world.”
According to Ismet Yılmaz, the biggest threat to stability in the region is the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and the member states of the Turkic Council should unite efforts towards a settlement of the problem within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. “In the process of a settlement of the conflict, Turkey and other members of the council support Azerbaijan,” Ismet Yılmaz stressed.
Ilham Aliyev said that “Nagorno-Karabakh is historic Azerbaijani land. The Azerbaijani peoples had been living and working on these lands for centuries. Not only Nagorno-Karabakh, but also Zangezur, the ancient Turkic land, is our historic birthplace. When Zangezur was separated from Azerbaijan and given to Armenia in the early 20th century, the geographical connection to the whole Turkic world was broken. Of course our ties are being strengthened day by day. But geographically we are separated from each other.”
Today Nagorno-Karabakh and seven neighboring regions, which are recognized by the international community as an integral part of Azerbaijan, are occupied by Armenia. “Armenia has rudely broken all legal norms, provided a policy of ethnic cleansing in the regions; more than a million Azerbaijanis became refugees in their native land. International organizations expressed their view on the issue. The UN Security Council adopted four resolutions which demanded the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Azerbaijani territory. Unfortunately, Armenia ignores them, continues the occupation, and behaves disingenuously and unconstructively at the talks. This and all other conflicts should be settled on the basis of the norms and principles of international law, sovereignty and the territorial integrity of countries,” Ilham Aliyev stated.
Meanwhile, according to Aliyev, a common history, a common culture and ethnic roots are the basis of cooperation between the Turkic-speaking countries. So a special role is given to humanitarian cooperation, including the TURKSOY organization, the Turkic Academy, the Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation. Azerbaijan invests in neighboring countries, Turkic-speaking states. It has already become a transit country for Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Today a new big International Sea Trade Port is being built in Baku. Its capacity is 25 million tons of cargo. At the same time, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed. It will connect Asia and Europe. Last month the first test train was sent from China to Azerbaijan through Kazakhstan.
As for energy security, cooperation in various formats was built. “Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan conduct successful activity in the Caspian Sea. At the same time, our key export routes are through the territory of Turkey,” Ilham Aliyev stated.
Almazbek Atambayev noted that next year Kyrgyzstan will chair the Turkic Council and suggested a new topic for a discussion – the development of national kinds of sport in Turkic-speaking countries.
Nursultan Nazarbayev expressed his assurance that the member-countries of the Turkic Council will be broadly represented at the Expo Exhibition in Astana in 2017. He stressed the importance of further extension of the development between the Turkic-speaking countries in the spheres of economics, science, education, IT and others.
Ilham Aliyev expressed the view that ethnic roots, common history and culture made the unity of the Turkic-speaking states stronger, and the next generation would live with these ideas as well.