Azeri President stresses regional integration through ECO

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Azeri President stresses regional integration through ECO

ISLAMABAD, March 1 (APP): President of the Republic of Azerbaijan,
Dr Ilham Aliyev, Wednesday stressed to achieve the objectives of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) for regional integration and
invited the member states to avail the opportunities his country was offering through its road and pipeline projects.
As outgoing Chairman of the ECO, he appreciated the the Organization’s
performance in various fields, reiterated his government’s commitment
to its objectives, and expressed the belief that progress towards regional integration would be further accelerated.
He announced that his country had declared the year 2017 as the
year of Islamic integration and it would host a moot on the subject in
two months time in Baku.
He said the stability and the security was very important for the
overall development in the region. Security was becoming fragile as new conflicts among different countries in the region were emerging, which should be resolved, he remarked.
Explaining its dispute with Republic of Armenia, he said the United
Nation’s Security Council, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and
several other major bodies through resolutions had called upon Armenia
to withdraw its troops unconditionally from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan.
He also expressed his gratitude towards Pakistan for officially
recognizing the genocide of Azeris in the occupied territory
in a resolution adopted by its Senate in 2012.
The Azeri President spoke in length on ethnic cleansing in occupied
areas, besides drawing the attention of the participants to the growing Islamophobia in the world.
“We strongly condemn this trend. It is wrong and biased approach to
link Islam with terror. It is the Muslim countries that suffered the most from terrorism.
“We need to continue the promotion of Islamic values as Islam is a
religion of peace, mercy, tolerance and justice.”
Dr Ilham Aliyev said his country attached utmost importance to
economic cooperation among the member states of ECO, which was essential
to promote trade and business ties for achieving shared dream of prosperity of the people of the region.
Talking about Azerbaijan’s Southern Gas corridor and East-West
road and North South rail road, he said the infrastructure had been
placed and the ECO member states should avail those links to boost their trade.
He also elaborated the achievements of the ECO under his chairmanship
and termed the ECO Vision 2025 an important milestone which addresses the emerging needs of the regional economic development.