Baku, October 25, AZERTAC
An official reception has been hosted on behalf of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in honor of the heads of state and government and heads of delegations participating in the 18th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Baku.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and first lady Mehriban Aliyeva attended the reception.
The head of state addressed the event.
Speech of President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear heads of state and government.
Ladies and gentlemen.
Once again, I welcome all of you and say - "Welcome to Azerbaijan!"
The first day of our Summit is drawing to a close. Tomorrow we will continue our work. I express gratitude to all participating states for the unanimous handover of chairmanship in the Movement to Azerbaijan for three years.
Azerbaijan will develop its priorities on historical Bandung principles. Our goal is to further enhance, together with the participating countries, the role and authority of the Non-Aligned Movement in the system of international relations, to contribute to the strengthening of peace and security on the planet and to sustainable development and justice.
The Bandung principles, covering concepts such as respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity of all countries, non-interference in the internal affairs of states, protection of mutual interests and promotion of cooperation, overlap with the foreign policy of Azerbaijan.
I want to express my gratitude for the decisions reflected in the documents of the Non-Aligned Movement in relation to the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and for the support of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. We greatly appreciate this support.
During our country’s chairmanship in the Movement, our priority will be to promote solidarity and mutually supportive relations among participating states. We will also try to contribute to the solution of issues and possible problems among member-countries.
Being held in Baku for two days, today and tomorrow, the Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, the largest institution in terms of the number of participating states after the UN General Assembly, is a major event on a global scale.
I do hope that members of the delegations will find the opportunity to get acquainted with the capital. Baku is one of the oldest cities in the world. Our monuments, such as the Gobustan rock engravings with a history of at least 20,000 years, the Maiden’s Tower dating back to the 6th century, Icherisheher, the fortress walls and the Palace of Shirvanshahs built in the 12th century, are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Three months ago, in its 43rd session held in Baku, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee included the historical center of the ancient Azerbaijani city of Sheki and the Palace of Sheki khans in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Azerbaijan has an ancient history and rich culture. This is clearly confirmed by the historical monuments existing in our country. We have numerous historical monuments related to Caucasian Albania, which was created on the territory of Azerbaijan in the first century BC and covered a vast territory. One of these monuments is the Albanian temple in the village of Kish in Sheki District.
The Shamakhi Juma mosque, built 13 centuries ago in 743, is one of the oldest mosques in the Caucasus and the Middle East. On my instruction recently, this ancient mosque, which suffered from natural disasters and attacks from time to time, was overhauled and restored and the mosque was reopened in 2013. Not far from Baku there is a temple of fire worshipers dating back to the early Middle Ages. Our religious and ethnic diversity is our greatest asset. This year we celebrate the 650th anniversary of great Azerbaijani poet and thinker Imadaddin Nasimi, who was born in the ancient city of Shamakhi. By my order, 2019 was declared a “Year of Nasimi” in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has presented the world culture with Nizami Ganjavi, Imadaddin Nasimi, Mohammad Fizuli, outstanding commander and poet Shah Ismayil Khatai and other geniuses. Their works are among the pearls of world literature.
The city of Baku regularly hosts authoritative international events. These include the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, the Forum of Religious Leaders of the World, the Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations. The “Baku process”, launched on our initiative in 2008, as well as its logical continuation in the form of the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, are supported by resolutions of the UN General Assembly as a global platform. Next month the Second Summit of Religious Leaders of the World will be held in our country. The inaugural European Games held in Azerbaijan in 2015 and the Fourth Islamic Solidarity Games organized in our country in 2017 were joined by athletes from a total of 104 countries representing Europe and the Muslim world. By the way, Azerbaijan finished second in the team competition at the European Games and first place at the Islamic Solidarity Games. Sport is part of the state policy in Azerbaijan. By the number of medals won at the latest summer Olympic Games in Rio, our country finished in 14th place in the world, in seventh among European countries and in first in the Muslim world. I must also say that every year Baku hosts the Formula 1 competition, which boasts a global audience of 500 million spectators.
Dear guests, ladies and gentlemen.
In addition to historical monuments, we have beautiful nature, moderate climate, rich cuisine and, most importantly, hospitable people. The city of Baku with its modern infrastructure is one of the most beautiful and safest cities in the world. I do hope that delegations leave Baku with the best impressions and want to come back here. I am sure that the best memories of Baku will always remain in your hearts.
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The official reception continued with a concert.