The fourth Congress of World Azerbaijanis has kicked off at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku.
President Ilham Aliyev attended the opening ceremony of the Congress.
The head of state addressed the event.
Offering his congratulations on the opening of the fourth Congress of World Azerbaijanis, President Ilham Aliyev noted that this conference was an important step towards unification of Azerbaijanis.
Saying solidarity of world Azerbaijanis was always in the center of the government's attention, the head of state hailed national leader Heydar Aliyev's services in this area. President Ilham Aliyev underlined that it was the initiative of national leader Heydar Aliyev that December 31 was declared the Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis. The head of state said Azerbaijan`s restoring its independence boosted the process of diaspora building. Saying there are 462 Azerbaijani diaspora organizations across the world, the President added that the activity of these organizations had been strengthened.
President Ilham Aliyev underlined the importance of further strengthening relations between diaspora organizations and government bodies and embassies. The head of state highlighted the recent development processes in the country. “Reforms carried out in political, economic and other fields have already yielded results.” Saying social stability and economic development were ensured in the country, President Ilham Aliyev also hailed Azerbaijan`s foreign policy. He said that Azerbaijan had 92 diplomatic representative offices and 62 embassies around the world. The head of state urged Azerbaijanis abroad to be active in local self-government bodies and in media in the countries where they reside.
President Ilham Aliyev pointed to the fact that as a result of Armenia's aggressive policy, 20 per cent of Azerbaijani territories were occupied, more than one million people became refugees and IDPs, and Khojaly genocide was committed. He said it was important for Azerbaijani diaspora organizations to increase their contribution to spreading awareness about the conflict through more extensively using the internet and print media resources.
President Ilham Aliyev said: "Armenia`s President lied at the summit of the Eurasian Economic Union and said that the situation was under the control of the so-called Nagorno-Karabakh army and alleged that Azerbaijan asked Russia to stop the fighting." “But this is an absolutely absurd and ridiculous claim.” Based on concrete facts, President Ilham Aliyev said the Nagorno-Karabakh army was a myth and this step taken by the Armenians was aimed at misleading the international community. "In fact, Armenia's request to restore the cease-fire was extended to Azerbaijan by Russia's Chief of Staff and head of state."
More than 500 diaspora delegates from 49 countries are attending the Congress. The participants also include prominent foreign politicians, public figures, scientists, officials and parliamentarians, who have a friendly attitude toward Azerbaijan. A 360-man delegation comprising representatives of Azerbaijan`s state and government bodies, non-governmental organizations, scientific, educational, culture institutions, and political parties.
After the official opening ceremony the congress featured panel sessions.
The congress will feature meetings between diaspora representatives and heads of Azerbaijani state and government bodies, and they will discuss the government’s role in solving the problems facing Azerbaijanis abroad.
The congress will see diaspora leaders discuss a wide range of issues, including information warfare, application of new mechanisms of action in this field, Azerbaijani diaspora movement's new youth strategy, lobbying against the background of new global economic tendencies, and integration into society.
The fourth congress of World Azerbaijanis will also focus on the challenges in informing the world community about the Azerbaijani realities, application of advanced methods and information technologies in awareness-raising, protection of the rights and freedoms of Azerbaijanis abroad.
The first Congress of World Azerbaijanis was held on the initiative of national leader Heydar Aliyev in 2001. The second and third congresses took place in accordance with the orders of President Ilham Aliyev in 2006 and 2011 respectively.