Ilham Aliyev received Secretary General of Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States, President of Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, Chairman of Uzbek Chamber of Commerce and Industry and President of Kyrgyz Chamber of Commerce and Industry

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Secretary-General of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States Baghdad Amreyev, President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey Mustafa Rifat, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan Adham Ikramov and President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kyrgyzstan Marat Sharshekeev.

Remarks by the President Ilham Aliyev:

– Welcome! The Baku meeting of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States is a significant event. Given that Azerbaijan is currently waging a patriotic war, this meeting is of particular importance. We take this as a sign of support and solidarity, so thank you for that. This is an extraordinary meeting, and its primary purpose is to provide moral support to our country.

Since the first days of the war, we have felt Turkey’s support and that of other brotherly and friendly countries. As you know, the President of the Republic of Turkey, my dear brother, extended his immediate support to us and made critical statements. He said that Azerbaijan was not alone and that Turkey was with Azerbaijan. After that, the heads of state and government of other friendly and brotherly countries – the heads of state and government of Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries – supported us. I am pleased that the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States has supported us and made a significant statement. This is a manifestation of unity and solidarity among Turkic speaking countries. At the same time, I can say that Azerbaijan has received tremendous support on a global scale. The Non-Aligned Movement is the second biggest international organization after the United Nations, uniting 120 countries. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has also supported us. That, of course, shows once again that ours is a cause of truth. We are restoring our territorial integrity, waging war on our territory. At the same time, it is a sign of the countries’ attitude – members of those organizations – towards Azerbaijan.

The war has been ongoing for more than a month. We are teaching the occupiers a lesson and driving them out of our lands. Many settlements have already been liberated. Every week, dozens of new settlements – cities and villages –are liberated from the occupiers, and Azerbaijan’s victorious Army continues its successful operations.

The situation in the occupied territories is deplorable. All our historical and religious sites have been destroyed and desecrated. Armenians kept pigs in a mosque in the occupied territories in the Zangilan district, and these videos are available on the Internet. It has outraged the entire Muslim world. It shows again that the Armenian state hates the entire Muslim world; otherwise, such base actions would not have occurred. Of course, the whole Muslim world can see yet again what savage enemy we are facing.

Armenia cannot confront us on the battlefield, so it fires on our cities and villages every day. According to the information I was given this morning, more than 200 artillery shells were fired at our cities and villages from 6 am – it is five minutes to 9 now. During this month, 91 civilians have been killed, 10 of them are children, 404 civilians have been injured, and more than 2,000 houses have been destroyed. Armenia uses banned weapons to kill as many people as possible. Our revenge takes place on the battlefield. I have said this many times. I have said that we will take revenge on the battlefield. We are driving the enemy away and will drive them out to the end.

Armenia was given three chances. Despite our Army’s successful operations, we respected international mediators’ proposals and agreed on a ceasefire three times. On all three occasions, Armenia grossly violated it – the first time by bombing Ganja with ballistic missiles. The second time, 4-5 minutes into the ceasefire and the third time by firing a “Smerch”-type missile on Barda, killing 21 people and injuring 70. As a result of two ballistic missiles fired on Gandja, 30 people were killed. This is the ugly face of Armenian fascism. Not only are we liberating our lands from the enemy, but we are breaking the back of Armenian fascism, which poses a significant threat to the region, and we will continue to do so. No-one can stand in front of us or push us off the course.

Meanwhile, I have said it many times, and this is my position. Suppose Armenia ceases fire today and demonstrates a constructive position at the negotiating table. In that case, we are ready to stop, but only if it undertakes a concrete commitment to withdraw troops from our lands. We believe that a military solution to the conflict must move on to a political plane, and we are ready for that. I do hope that Armenia’s bitter defeat will force them to think very seriously and make this decision.

But we see precisely the opposite. The Armenian prime minister has sent a letter to the Russian President asking for military assistance. This is totally unacceptable. There is no ground for that. We are crushing the enemy and driving it out of our lands. We have not invaded Armenia. This is the first. Second, Russia is the Minsk Group co-chair, and, like all co-chairs, it must be neutral, as required by the co-chair mandate by the OSCE. Pashinyan’s sending this letter is, in fact, an admission. He admits that Armenia has lost. This acknowledgment must be seriously analyzed in Armenian society. The Armenian leadership must be seriously pressured to stop this war, for the occupiers to leave our lands and ensure peace in the region.

Thank you again for this excellent initiative, and welcome again. I am confident that your event will be successful. Thank you!

Secretary-General of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States Baghdad Amreyev said:

– Thank you, Mr. President. This time we have come to Baku to convey the voice of brotherly Azerbaijan to the whole world. On this occasion, thank you very much for receiving the chairmen of other chambers of the Turkic world and me.

From the first days of Armenia’s attacks on Azerbaijan, we, as the Turkic Council and the Turkic world, have stood by brotherly Azerbaijan. We made the necessary statements. I went to Ganja. We also expressed our firm position at the meeting with the media there. In this Patriotic War, we stand by Azerbaijan. I expressed my opinion on the legal right of the Turkic world and the Turkic Council to take back the occupied lands of Azerbaijan without any preconditions. We say that the conflict must be resolved only based on the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan recognized by the international community.

Mr. President, I pray to God to rest the souls of all our Azerbaijani martyrs who died for the liberation of the occupied territories.

At today’s event – the meeting of the heads of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Turkic-Speaking countries, we will once again express our solidarity. We will once again declare our support for Azerbaijan. We held a meeting of the Turkic Council and the Ministers of Health of the Turkic world with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s participation in Istanbul yesterday. At that event, we once again expressed our full and comprehensive support for brotherly Azerbaijan.

As you know, the Turkic Council member-states’ presidents instructed us at the Summit in Baku last year. Now we are preparing a Turkic Council strategy for 2021 and the goals of the Turkic world for 2040. I do hope that you will adopt these documents at the next Summit. The Turkic Council is always with you, Mr. President. We are all Azerbaijan.

President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you, thank you very much!

President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey Mustafa Rifat said:

– Mr. President, thank you very much for receiving us. It is a great pleasure for us to meet with you in Baku again. Our visit’s primary purpose as the Turkic Chambers of Commerce and Industry is to participate in an extraordinary meeting of the heads of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkic-Speaking countries. The chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan and the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kyrgyzstan are also here. At the same time, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kazakhstan will participate in a video format, as he is attending a board meeting today.

We are here today to express our solidarity with you. Exactly a year ago, we were with you at the Summit. Then, we had a very productive meeting with 1,200 businessmen from the Turkic world. You also invited us to the Summit. Furthermore, the leaders of eight non-governmental organizations representing trade unions, civil servant unions and trade confederations, which unite 50 million people from Turkey, came along with me.

We are here to demonstrate our support for our Azerbaijani brothers, as leaders of the Turkic business community, representing 50 million people.

President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you!

Mustafa Rifat: We pray for our martyrs to rest in peace. We pray to Allah to send healing to our wounded soldiers and civilians. We congratulate Azerbaijan’s Army under your command. You are putting an end to our 30 years of longing. May Allah be pleased with you and grant help. We are with you 24 hours a day, whatever our duty is, what the responsibility of your Turkish brothers is. All you have to do is send us a message, Mr. President. Since that day, we have decorated the building of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges with Azerbaijan’s flag. It has been the case since that day. It has spread over on social media. On the day you launched the counter-offensive operation, we raised Azerbaijan’s flag on one of Ankara’s most prestigious buildings.

If you have any other instructions for us, we will be delighted to hear them. It would make us happy if we could contribute to this cause. Thank you.

President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much! I want to express my sincere gratitude to you again. You know that the people of Azerbaijan are united these days. All the Azerbaijanis of the world are watching the response to this matter and this war with great sensitivity. It is understandable because our lands have been under occupation for 30 years, and international mediators’ efforts have not yielded fruit. We only saw steps aimed at winning time, freezing the conflict and perpetuating the occupation. The people of Azerbaijan saw that. Therefore, the Azerbaijani people are very sensitive to every opinion and position on this issue voiced in the world over the past month. Of course, we were encouraged to see this support from brotherly countries from the first days. It gave us even greater moral strength, and we saw again that our unity is displayed not through words but actions. Your visit today shows this again. As you mentioned, Rifat Bey, the meeting of the Turkic Council in Baku a year ago, was a very significant event. We have expressed our views on these issues – we must be together and support each other in all matters. Whenever someone is in a difficult situation, moral support must be provided, and we see that. That is why I attach particular importance to your meeting today. I am sure that all the people of Azerbaijan will appreciate it. Thank you again.

Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan Adham Ikramov and President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Kyrgyz Republic Marat Sharshekeev reiterated their countries’ solidarity with Azerbaijan these days.