Ladies and gentlemen,
The great figures of the Turkic world brought force ideas about the unity of Turks throughout the centuries, nevertheless real terms for realization of this idea hopefully emerged late 20th century. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, apart from Turkey, 5 new Turkic states appeared in the political map of the world thus giving impetus to opening new horizons in the historical destiny of our peoples.
Within the last 20 years our nations have traveled a long path in their development. New Turkic states have an active part to play in the social and political life of their regions, as well as of the world. Concerning Azerbaijan, I can say that in terms of the global financial-economic crisis of recent times, my country could have preserved high economic growth rate, thereby successfully overcoming social implications of the crisis. Thanks to President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev’s capabilities of coping with the challenges of the new age and his well-thought and expedient policy, the speedy and dynamic development of the country’s economy has been secured.
Nowadays, Azerbaijan accounts for over half of the GDP throughout the South Caucasus countries. Within the last decade, state budget of Azerbaijan has surged 16 times, while the foreign trade turnover increased nearly 10 times.
Projects, implemented with the joint efforts of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, are turning to an important part of the European energy security system. Baku-Tbilisi-Jeyhan and Baku-Tbilisi_Erzurum oil and gas pipelines transporting Caspian oil and gas to the world markets serve the interests of our nations. Currently oil and oil products from the Central Asia are delivered to the world markets via Azerbaijan.
Nonetheless, development is not determined solely by economic and social factors. Substantial shifts actually occurred in the minds of our peoples. One can assert that nowadays we better apprehend the significance of the wisdom of our ancestors saying “unity in words, and unity in actions”.
Today, to tackle with the global challenges, which encountered mankind, states should concert their efforts. Throughout the history, cooperation among Turkic states has never been as crucial as it is today. However, growing geographical-strategic importances of our regions put forward the urgency of cohesion and close cooperation between all Turkic states. Lately strengthening of the bilateral and multilateral relations between our countries indicates the level of their efforts directed to benefit from the new cooperation opportunities.
In this respect, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkic States has justified itself as an efficient tool in bringing our peoples much closer. Regular meetings of Heads of Turkic States, the organization of TURKSOY engaged in the protection and development of the cultural heritage of Turkic states, including TurkPA make valuable contributions to the deepening of interstate political ties, as well as promotion of inter-parliamentary cooperation.
I should underline that the Parliament of Azerbaijan is pleased with all these successes and will henceforth render its strong support to our organization. The decisions adopted at the meetings of Heads of the Turkic states provide prerequisites for conducting activities at broader scope thereby facilitating cohesion of our brotherly peoples. The Istanbul Summit of Heads of Turkic states held in September 2010 undertook indispensable steps towards the unity of the Turkic world.
One of the most important decisions adopted at the Summit was to establish the “Cooperation Council of the Turkic States”. The Council will systematically operate towards reinforcing the ties between participating states. At that meeting, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev proposed to establish the TURKSOY Foundation, upon which practical measures are being undertaken currently. As a credit given to TurkPA by the Heads of Turkic States, TurkPA Secretary General Mr. Ramil Hasanov addressed the meeting and communicated on the activity of his Organization.
Currently intense work is being carried out towards the implementation of the proposals put forth at the Summit. I consider that we have entered qualitatively a new stage at top level towards consolidation of the Turkic unity.
As you are well-aware, the role and importance of the parliamentary diplomacy is gradually growing in the contemporary world. Parliamentary diplomacy, qualitatively a new stage of the inter-parliamentary cooperation, compliments and enriches the traditional diplomatic mechanisms thus making solid contributions to the regulation of the inter-state issues as well as elimination of impediments to the dialogue among civilizations.
The Milli Mejlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan attaches great importance to benefiting from all kinds of cooperation. My Parliament has concluded numerous agreements on bilateral relations and cooperation with the legislative bodies of various countries.
I deem that the supreme legislative bodies of our countries should not only cooperate within TURKPA, but also focus on deepening of the bilateral relations between our parliaments. The latter can play a crucial role in strengthening the Parliamentary Assembly. In other words, these two processes should simultaneously develop thereby organically complementing each other.
The Milli Mejlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan is striving to make international community focus on the solution of the vital issues for our country through benefiting from opportunities provided by the international parliamentary organizations of its affiliation. I can note that we lack no few successes in this regard. Such respected international organizations as the UN General Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization of Islamic Conference have adopted documents supporting the just position of my state on the painful problem of Azerbaijan – the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Legislative bodies of such influential countries as Italy and Germany have adopted resolutions supporting the fair position of Azerbaijan vis-à-vis the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and emphasized the necessity to resolve the conflict in line with the principle of territorial integrity. Parliaments of some other states are anticipated to adopt similar decisions.
Taking this opportunity, once again I express my thanks to the delegations of all countries, including the ones from the Turkic states supporting our delegation in the international organizations on the issues concerning Azerbaijan. First of all, we are grateful to brotherly Turkey for its constant stand beside Azerbaijan, for its continuous support to Azerbaijan in all international organizations thus spearing no efforts in its brotherly support. We expect other brotherly Turkic states to double their efforts in this regard.
No doubt that the abundant experience of our countries in the field of inter-parliamentary cooperation facilitates efficient operation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkic States. We see initial outcomes. As mentioned yesterday, TurkPA was granted observer status in the Inter-parliamentary Union and Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, efficient cooperation relations were established with such authoritative international organizations as the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, European Parliament, CIS Parliamentary Assembly, and Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization.
I suppose the Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkic States should be more engaged with the ongoing activities in the indicated area. Growing international influence of our organization and occupying its place among the well-respected parliamentary organizations can help bring our common problems to the attention of the world community.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Turkic world reminds an immense ocean. But what are we left with on dividing the ocean into separate sections? Our strength lies in our unity.
National Leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, one of the most outstanding figures of the Turkic world used to attach particular prevalence to the further promotion of relations between the Turkic peoples. Moreover, Turgut Ozal, also a prominent figure of the Turkic world wholeheartedly hoped that the 21st century would be the Turkic era. I also share his views. Another vivid proof of the feasibility of this idea is our joint participation in this remarkable event and brotherly exchange of views on the issues of cooperation between parliaments of our countries.
In the conclusion, I would like to bless our high level meeting, and wish peace, welfare and prosperity to our peoples.
Thank you for your attention.