Azerbaijani FM, ICESCO secretary general moot co-op aspects and regional realities

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov met with ICESCO Director General Salim bin Mohammed Almalik on October 3, 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan said, reports.

Issues of cooperation between Azerbaijan and ICESCO, as well as the current situation in the region, were discussed at the meeting.

Bayramov, noting that since the first years of the restoration of independence, Azerbaijan has been closely cooperating with ICESCO in the field of intercultural dialogue, combating such phenomena as racial discrimination and Islamophobia in particular, expressed confidence that the opening of the ICESCO regional center in Azerbaijan in the near future will contribute to the further development of relations.

In addition, the minister noted with satisfaction that the city of Shusha, the cradle of the culture of Azerbaijan, known worldwide for its model of multiculturalism and tolerance, was chosen by ICESCO as the "Cultural Capital of the Islamic World" for 2024.

Having been informed in detail about the current situation in the region in the post-conflict period, peacekeeping, and efforts of Azerbaijan, Bayramov noted that Azerbaijan is taking practical steps to restore the religious and cultural heritage destroyed by Armenia during the conflict that lasted almost 30 years. He said that Azerbaijan faced double standards and noted the unacceptability of attempts to give a religious connotation to the conflict, as well as the fact that such steps do not contribute to peace and stability in the region.

Despite all the existing difficulties and challenges, Azerbaijan is determined to promote the agenda of normalization and peace with Armenia, as well as the process of reintegrating local Armenian residents living in the Karabakh region. Moreover, the minister said that the process of withdrawal and disarmament of Armenian separatist troops in the region as a result of anti-terrorist measures will contribute to efforts to establish peace and reintegration.

Director General Salim bin Mohammed Almalik expressed satisfaction with the visit to Azerbaijan, noting that during the meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, a useful exchange of views took place. He said that ICESCO is interested in expanding cooperation with Azerbaijan, and the importance of further efforts to strengthen ties was also noted.

In addition, the sides exchanged views on other issues of mutual interest during the meeting.

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