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Azerbaijan's Aliyev Opens the 5th Global Baku Forum

By Mushvig Mehdiyev March 16, 2017

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President Ilham Aliyev addresses the 5th Global Baku Forum, Baku, March 16, 2017 / Prezident.Az

The fifth annual Global Baku Forum, entitled “Future of International Relations: Powers and Interests,” kicked off in Baku on Thursday.  Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and first Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva attended the opening ceremony, at which Aliyev delivered a speech to participants. 

The forum, which will last for two days, has gathered 300 representatives from 53 countries, including the presidents of Latvia, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Georgia, as well as royal representatives from Saudi Arabia.

This year’s event focuses on fighting terrorism and prospects in transatlantic cooperation.

President Aliyev’s opening speech addressed the Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) conflict.

“The Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts of Azerbaijan are under Armenian occupation. Armenia committed a military crime against Azerbaijanis and seized our lands. This unsettled conflict is a threat to the regional stability. Our lands should be liberated. The status-quo should be changed,” Aliyev said according to local APA news agency reports.

Aliyev said the UN has applied a “double standard” to the conflict, noting that resolutions adopted 25 years ago by the international body, which include immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian forces from occupied Azerbaijani lands, remain unfulfilled.

“We call [what is happening] double standards. If the resolutions of international organizations are ignored, then the whole world is leading to a danger,” President Aliyev said.

The annual forum is sponsored by Azerbaijan’s State Committee on Work with Diaspora and the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, a cultural organization whose aim is to preserve cultural heritage while fostering scholarship and social outreach.