|Updated: 19-Dec-2001||NATO Speeches|
by Colonel-General Safar Abiyev, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in Defence Ministers session
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the organizers of this Meeting for creating favorable working conditions.
Issues presented today for discussion are extremely pressing and important for ensuring global, regional and national security.
Acts of terrorism committed in New York and Washington D.C. have resulted in loss of life by thousands of innocent people and confronted the entire world with new realities. These terrorist acts made us look anew to the ensurance of national security of states as well as to the global security.
Taking into consideration that such organizations have got high-level mobility, possess significant financial means, an effective fight against them can be carried out only by means of international cooperation.
As a matter of fact, international terrorism cannot exist isolated. Using various means and methods, such organizations establish international contacts at different levels and prepare the basis for the implementation of their illegal activities.
International and regional organizations neither duly assessed the danger of this tendency, nor took appropriate measures, nor demonstrated decisiveness and continuity in implementing adopted decisions. As a result of this today we witness the spread of terrorism, including aggressive separatism. The organizations and States, which chose separatism as their tool, present it as a national liberation movement. A number of international organizations and States in their practical activities show indifference to such policy. If inviolability of borders is considered to be one of the major principles of international relations, the world community should not be indifferent to any violation of this principle. The aggressive separatism in any state is the reason of same actions in other regions and countries what may finally result in human tragedies.
The problems of terrorism prevention were repeatedly discussed in the United Nations and other international organizations, which adopted numerous decisions. However, absence of necessary will to implement these decisions did not result in eradication of terrorism. To solve this problem, one cannot be satisfied only with statements. Any compromise in this question may result in tragic events.
The terrorist acts committed in the United States, have caused wrath of the Azerbaijani people. Azerbaijan, which for the last 10 years was subject to aggression and uncountable acts of terrorism, always was against terrorism and, particularly, aggressive separatism as one of the forms of the international terrorism.
The Republic of Azerbaijan has from the very outset declared that it was together with the United States in its fight against international terrorism and has provided its airspace in order to render practical assistance in carrying out anti-terror operations, and is ready to comprehensive interaction in this field.
The Republic of Azerbaijan, with 20 percent of territory occupied by Armenia and more than one million Azerbaijani refugees who live under unbearable conditions, has repeatedly experienced bitter results of terrorism, and therefore, always demonstrates its hard position on terrorism and separatism. But unfortunately, our just demands and 4 Resolutions of the UN Security Council containing these demands remain unimplemented.
The world community did not pay any attention in due time, and did not duly assess such brutal acts of international terrorism committed by separatists with support of officials of the Republic of Armenia. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that only during recent 13 years Armenian terrorists, officially inspired and led by Armenia and its power structures committed 32 terrorist acts, as a result of which more than 2 thousand innocent people were murdered: the whole town of Khodjaly was razed overnight (February 26, 1992 ) to the ground and all its population exterminated, explosions of passenger trains in Baky on June 2, 1993 and February 1, 1994, explosions in the Baky Metro Station on March 19 and July 3, 1994, on October 28, 1995 resulted in the death of hundreds of innocent people. However, this brutality has not been duly internationally assessed so far. On the contrary, the persons who have committed this malicious act of terrorism use the patronage of certain circles.
After driving out 200 000 Azerbaijanians from the territory of Armenia, the secret services of this republic inflamed aggressive separatism and committed tens of terrorist acts on the territory of Azerbaijan. In addition neighboring Armenia, turned the occupied territories into a point of delivery of weapons to terrorist organizations and to regimes, supporting terrorism, as well as created opportunity for the activities of terrorist training camps for ASALA, PKK, DRO, HAYDAD and other terrorist organizations, as well as uses these occupied territories for production and drug trafficking to Europe. Today, Armenia is the only one state in Europe which has not recognized territorial integrity of a neighboring state as well as occupied the part of its territory and stockpiled there a huge number of uncontrolled weapons and armaments. The stockpiling of such number of uncontrolled weapons is dangerous not only in the regional but also in global scale.
If we really intend to combat terrorism in Afghanistan, such determination should be demonstrated against Armenian terrorists. Having joined the international cooperation, Azerbaijan hopes for the same cooperation provided by the international community.
Today it has become evident that the efficient counteraction against international terrorism and successful fight against all its forms and manifestations are possible only through decisive joint action.
We are already in the process of gaining mutual expertise in joint cooperation. One should not underestimate in this regard the potential of the Partnership for Peace Program.
I believe that within the framework of this Program, in order to carry out joint anti-terror activity by the member-states one could think about carrying out the common assessment of threats and elaboration of single principles on elimination of all forms of terrorism.
As regards the practical implementation of the Partnership for Peace Program I should note that the Republic of Azerbaijan continues its active participation in it.
Individual Partnership Program for 2001 compiled with due consideration of Azerbaijan's interests to cooperate with NATO in concrete spheres, also contains the events scheduled to be held in Azerbaijan.
In November 2001 Azerbaijan successfully hosted in Baky multinational peacekeeping CPX "Cooperative-Determination 01". 379 participants from 18 NATO Member-States and PfP Participating States, NATO staff; UN and ICRC took part in this important event.
Upon the completion of this exercise the higher command of the Joint Command South-East Europe highly evaluated the conduct of the event.
In the near future within the PfP Program Azerbaijan plans to host a number of seminars and courses, including the Navy Ops Workshop, LG 3 WG expert meeting, as well as Cooperative Best Effort field exercise.
NATO/PfP National Center as well as the Commission on NATO Standartisation Agreements have been established by the Ministry of Defence.
Three candidatures from the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan have been submitted to fill in the vacancies in the NATO Partner Staff Elements program.
Peacekeeping platoon of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan has been contributing for more than 2 years to the restoration of peace in Kosovo within the KFOR.
Participation in PARP and implementation of 27 Partnership Goals is one of the priorities in cooperation of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces with NATO.
Consistent education process of capabilities and forces declared by Azerbaijan continues, as it is envisaged by the Presentation Document of the Republic of Azerbaijan, with the aim to increase interoperability of Azerbaijani forces with the Alliance in the NATO-led peace-support operations (PSOs).
The Republic of Azerbaijan is determined to continue to broaden and deepen its participation in the Partnership for Peace Program and other NATO initiatives, aimed at ensuring stability, security and maintenance of peace in the Euro-Atlantic space.
Thank you for your attention.