A regular meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State has been held in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the meeting, which marked the 25th anniversary of the founding of CIS.
Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev welcomed President Ilham Aliyev. The heads of state posed for photographs.
Almazbek Atambayev then welcomed other guests who attend the meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State. The presidents posed together for photographs.
The CIS Council of Heads of State is now meeting in a limited format.
President Ilham Aliyev addressed the meeting.
Speech of President Ilham Aliyev
- We will discuss important issues today that will contribute to the strengthening of our organization, and we support the initiatives related to the optimization of work, so that we could concentrate on the most important issues of common interest.
In the year of the 25th anniversary of the CIS, I would like to express the position of our country as one of the founders of this organization. We attach great importance to membership in the CIS, and I think that over the course of 25 years the organization has covered a long road and stood the test of time. Our organization was created as a result of certain historical events, and I think that the wisdom of our peoples and leaders led to the fact that 25 years on we have an organization that is very important for the region and for the world. The geography of our organization is quite extensive. We are discussing, in a friendly environment, the important issues that concern our countries and our peoples. There are many issues that need to be addressed.
I would like to note the active role Azerbaijan has played in strengthening the cooperation in the humanitarian sphere. We attach great importance to that. I believe that cooperation in the humanitarian sphere forms the basis of our cooperation. Without that, we would probably not have the level of trust and understanding that exists today. Azerbaijan, for its part, both within our organization and in general, initiates various international events. In a few days, Baku will host the Fifth Baku International Humanitarian Forum under the patronage of the Presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan, which has already become a very important international platform for the discussion of issues related to humanitarian cooperation. These issues are always in the spotlight, especially at a time when we see how issues of humanitarian cooperation are sometimes interpreted in different countries. We are seeing the so-called crisis of migrants. We see that, unfortunately, instead of strengthening mutual understanding between nations and cooperation in the humanitarian sphere, the processes move in the opposite direction. There is division on ethnic and religious grounds. This is worrying because our organization, among other things, is strong for representing peoples of different cultures, religions and traditions. We are united by a common desire to strengthen cooperation.
I must also inform my colleagues that this year in Azerbaijan has been declared a "Year of Multiculturalism", and Azerbaijan is already recognized on a global scale as one of the centers of multiculturalism. This year Baku hosted the Seventh Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations.
I would also like to stress the importance we attach to cooperation in the economic sphere both in the bilateral format with member countries and in the multilateral format. There are also good prospects here, despite the decline in the level of economic activity in the world. I think that we can maintain the trend for the development of economic cooperation.
Of particular importance in the current environment are issues related to cooperation in the transport sector. Our country has for many years heavily invested in this area, and today the North-South and East-West corridors passing through our country also serve to strengthen cooperation and bring additional economic benefits to our country. Also, together with our neighboring CIS member-states, we are implementing projects that will have a great future for our countries. We invest in the construction of ports, railways, sea transport, the construction of modern international airports. This is an area that brings a steady source of income, an area that goes beyond the scope of the economy and also leads to the strengthening of cooperation.
Enhanced cooperation means the strengthening of security and mutual confidence. We live in a time when threats are growing, so we need to be prepared for them. No country, as has already been demonstrated in recent history, can cope with threats, international terrorism, extremism and radicalism on its own. Our countries are also united by a common understanding of the danger of these trends, as well as a common understanding that the entire international community must join forces in the fight against international terrorism.
In conclusion, I would like to express hope that the CIS will develop actively in the future too. We are on the way of prudent reforms. Reforms should not be implemented for the sake of reforms. They should have a very clear direction in order to strengthen our organization and make it more attractive and viable.
Thank you again for your hospitality, and I wish all of us productive work. Thank you.