Elkhan Aleskerov: ”The militaries talk the most of all about the peace”
Yesterday, the 7th Moscow International Security Conference MCIS-2018, traditionally organized by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, finished. The central topic of the MCIS-2018 was the situation in Syria: the fight against the international terrorism and the prospects for the stabilization in the Middle East. The security issues in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America were also discussed, and a special session was dedicated to the soft power instruments. Vestnik Kavkaza spoke about the conference results with the head of the expert council of the Baku Network, Elkhan Aleskerov.
- Elkhan muallim, how do you assess the results of the MCIS-2018?
- I think the conference was successful. It coincided with a difficult period of the relations between Russia and the Western NATO countries: the diplomats are expelled from both sides, threats are sounded, Russia is accused of involvement in the murderous assault on Sergei Skripal without evidence. In such conditions, the holding of the conference was, of course, very interesting, many opinions were sounded related to the establishment of the peace. Strangely enough, it should be noted that the military - generals, defense ministers, representatives of the Russian law enforcement agencies - spoke most of all about the piece. In this regard, the event became a landmark for this difficult period of the heated international atmosphere: while experts and observers say that countries are on the verge of a cold war and even a full-scale war, the military leadership called for the peace and solving problems in a peaceful way.
- What conclusions did the conference participants make on the main issue - the stabilization of the Middle East?
- At the conference, it was said that the stage of the anti-terrorist war in Syria is over, the idea of creating a terrorist state in Iraq has vanished. At the same time, it was noted that such entities might appear in other regions, but it was stressed that in the Middle East, due to the joint efforts of the antiterrorist coalition of Turkey, Russia, and Iran, the organized terrorism was defeated. They also discussed the need to start a new stage of reconstruction of Syria. The participants agreed that the stabilization of the situation in Syria and Iraq will stabilize the entire region as a whole.
- What was like the participation of the Azerbaijani delegation in the conference this year?
- There was a military delegation led by Deputy Minister of Defense, General Kerim Veliyev from Azerbaijan. I participated as the head of the non-governmental organization Baku Network. We did not deliver the address since the meeting was focused on Syria and the problems of the Middle East, but the overall participation in the conference proved to be very useful. It was important for me to learn the vision of the processes taking place in the world of the participants of MCIS-2018. On the sidelines of the conference, we had a lot of conversations and meetings. We met with our Russian partners, with whom we constantly discuss the key issues at the expert level, we bring our opinion, we search for the truth in discussions. In particular, we discussed the situation around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, the rule of the international law in the world affairs must be restored, so that no one neglects the principles established by the international organizations - and Azerbaijan is more interested in the supremacy of the international rights. The UN adopted four resolutions on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, but they, unfortunately, are not being implemented and measures for their implementation are not accepted. We also spoke about the false information spread in the Russian media that Azerbaijan is allegedly an aggressive state that claims the neighbor’s land, and agreed that it is necessary to convey to the wide circles the understanding that in reality, Azerbaijan is a victim of the occupation. Neither the political leadership nor anyone else in the republic said that we want the accession of someone's territories, we want to return our own, occupied territories. In general, we had the widest range of talks on all the issues that are of a concern to Baku, and we found new partners with whom we will continue to cooperate and share our views.
- Simultaneously with the conference in Istanbul, there were talks between Presidents Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hasan Ruhani on the same topic of the Syrian crisis settlement. In your estimation, what significance did this meeting have for the stabilization of the Middle East?
- For Azerbaijan, of course, it is extremely important to have a stable situation in the neighbor states. Azerbaijan is an initiator of the geopolitical and geo-economic transport, communication and energy projects, and peaceful atmosphere in the region is important for the country. Therefore, the meeting of the leaders of the three countries, who are our strategic allies and our neighbors, with whom we have good and positive neighborly relations, has become one of the significant events of the year for Azerbaijan, especially if we consider it in the framework of the previously held negotiations in the formats Russia-Azerbaijan-Iran and Russia-Azerbaijan-Turkey. We are happy that the course on the economic development, which Azerbaijan has taken, has a continuation in a wider context and is one of the issues of the negotiations of the neighbor countries of Turkey, Russia, and Iran.