​Baku hosts international conference on Council of Europe neighbourhood policy

The event is held under the Chairmanship of Azerbaijan in the CoE Committee of Ministers

Baku. 7 November. REPORT.AZ/ The International conference on the Council of Europe neighbourhood policy started in Baku. Report informs, the event is held within the framework of Azerbaijan's Chairmanship of the CoE Committee of Ministers.

In his opening speech, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov stated that recently, Azerbaijan had become the venue for a number of major international events. "Azerbaijan is a country located at the crossroads of a variety of cultural routes and civilizations and enjoys a centuries-long tradition of peaceful co-existence between different ethnic and religious communities. For this reason, we elevated the promotion of intercultural and interreligious dialogue to the level of foreign policy priority. In recent years, Azerbaijan initiated and hosted a number of international humanitarian events, such as the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue and the Baku International Humanitarian Forum. The 7th United Nations Alliance of Civilizations global forum will be held in Azerbaijan in 2016," Minister said.

He stressed that this conference was the last major event in the framework of the Azerbaijan's Chairmanship of CoE Commitee of Ministers.  The ceremony of passing the Presidency to Belgium is scheduled to be held next week.

He recalled that during the period of its Chairmanship, Azerbaijan had initiated a number of activities in the fields of education, youth, fight against corruption, etc.

In his speech, E. Mammadyarov also spoke about the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. "Azerbaijan and the region would have achieved more, without grave consequences of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan which resulted in the illegal occupation by Armenia of our internationally recognized territories – Nagorno Karabakh region and 7 adjacent districts and the forced displacement of a million Azerbaijani civilians. It is unfortunate that 4 UN Security Council Resolutions reaffirming respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and demanding the immediate, full and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces from all the occupied territories are still remain unfulfilled," Е. Mammadyarov stated.

In turn, the director of the Council of Europe's foreign policy Zoltan Taubner thanked Azerbaijan for hosting and organizing the event. He noted that such countries as Azerbaijan are the best place for these kind of activities.

Participants will discuss the progress in the application of the Council of Europe neighbourhood policy, prospects for development in the future, as well as the strengthening of political dialogue with the neighboring regions. The permanent representatives of various member countries of the Council of Europe, heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Azerbaijan, representatives of ministries participate in this conference.

The Conference will complete on November 8.

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