[alert style=”yellow”]360° ha scelto di pubblicare l’intervista nella sua forma originale, quella in lingua inglese. Speriamo che i nostri lettori possano comunque apprezzare gli interessanti contenuti di questa chiacchierata. Buona lettura![/alert]
In the lecture we had an overview of the question of IDPs in general and in the Azerbaijan’s case. Which countries around the world you think may aid you the most to solve this situation? United Nations made four resolution on your case but have never been applied
First of all the situation of IDPs and refugees is relatively new for Azerbaijan , but not for the whole world. Before the Armneia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict Europe had several conflicts like this. So all the countries that have been victims of armed conflicts , of armed separatism and so on they are potential supporters of our issues.
This generally speaking: regarding Azerbaijan, keep in mind that we’ve been non permanent members of the United Nations Security Council in 2012 and 2013. I want to tell you that during the votes, 155 nations in the General Assembly supported Azerbaijan. This means that we gained the support of the majority of the countries around the world, and these, as you said, are potentially supporters of our cause . Speaking more formally, the resolution of the conflict with Armenia goes into the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, with Headquarters in Wien: It has 57 members today, so technically speaking this is an Issue for those countries, but it’s quite difficult to bring them all together to shape a decision . Even European Union , with only 28 countries, has big difficulties sometimes to have only one solution. That’s why depending on how you look at the situation you have different countries bringing different supports. Of course, The OSCE Minsk group dealing with Armneia-azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the “minimum level” of countries dealing with this conflict, and must work more efficiently. All the countries I mentioned have responsibilities not only for Azerbaijan’s case , but for all the Refugees cases in Europe and around the globe.
So do you expect the situation to be solved quickly?
We expect it to be peaceful : today is not a choice between early and late, we’ve been waiting for twenty two years! It is already too late. According to the UN Charter, Azerbaijan has full rights of self-defense because our territories are occupied illegally, but any war means death of people and We want to avoid that but we also want Armenia to understand that nobody can occupy any territory in the 21st century without any consequence. We rely very much in political support from EU : we don’t ask for money or weapons, we just need their work to let our opponents understand our reasons.
Nowadays, another conflict is struggling the whole western world, the Islamic State’s “holy war”. According to Ilham Alyiev you are “a modern Muslim country” (even if a secular state), so how does a huge muslim public opinion react to those massacres?
First of all, I want to say that Azerbaijan, thanks to the oil industry, has always been a largely industrial nation. So this means that we’ve always had a big working class with a good level of education, and radical religious ideals did not found much support. In many rural countries indeed, those ideals may have intoxicated psychology of people who are not well educated. The country as you said is a Secular state, and it’s a multicultural and multiethnic country , with Catholic Churches, Orthodox Churches, Sinagogues and Mosques , and we consider this to be our biggest asset , even bigger than oil industry. We have an harmonious coexistence and our government is determined to support it. Therefore our foreign policy is linked to european: we are strongly attached to European institutions and of course we want to support this issue, and this is why when the population of Azerbaijan , like those of the whole world, hears or sees of those massacres and slaughters has only a negative reaction. We have built a multicultural nation; the majority of people are muslims but we are not any sort of theocratic state. And we have been fighting international terrorism and we joined all operations of NATO and UN with soldiers and information , we give our small support but this is relevant for us.
In 2012 Ilham Alyiev stated the increasing role of Azerbaijan as a partner of Europe in developing of Gas Energy , so how much will you be attached still to Russia or how will you look at Europe?
Well, as I said in the lecture, we have a strong cooperation with Russia in many fields, economic, business, cultural, and so on. First of all that’s why we’ve been an united state for seventy years, it’s our big neighbour and we have lot s of Azerbaijani living in Russia, and Russians living in Azerbaijan as well so we have lots of relations. As you said , Azerbaijan has a lot of of natural resources, more than enough for use so we want to use them for export, and we sell them to Georgia, Iran , Russia, etc., but the biggest market is the European one. In this sense, we don’t look at Russia as a competitor because the volume of Gas sold by Russia to Europe is far bigger than ours; on the second hand , we think that thanks to the increasing demand from Europe gives both Azerbaijan and Russia enough place to sell and have useful relations. So we keep relations with both those partners, with European Union as a structure and also to the single Nations , especially Italy, that has been our biggest partner since 2008.
Now a question about communication, as long as you are a former linguist: in Italy most of the political communication passes trough the invisible wires of social networks. How much this tendency is developed in Azerbaijan?
Azerbaijan has a population of more than 9 million people, and most of them are young people that use social network and technology easily . Azerbaijan is also investing a lot in telecommunication, we are very modern in broadband and digital television and that’s why social networks like Twitter , Facebook Whatsapp and similar are highly developed. We have a high density of mobile phones, with people having two or three per capita. We also have a big program of E-government , in order to achieve a big development. Istitutions put resources and information in the open space: you can even vote , or do lots of stuff like renew your driving licence within only one hour. Our E-goverment helps the development of society in general.
Due to the developing reports between Italy and Azerbaijan, are you even working to an university exchange program, maybe cooperating with AGIA?
Of course. The cultural aspect of our cooperation in widely developed. Educational exchange is one of the most important sides. Italy has many excellent university and we are working to do so in Azerbaijan; we have more than fifty universities, mostly run by state but also many private, education is completely free and we are linked with the Bologna process and so that’s why we attach lots of relations with Italian universities , including La Sapienza , Roma Tre , Ca’ Foscari and now also with Luiss, and we are already organizing exchanges with professors and students
So maybe some of us may go studying in Azerbaijan…
Yes indeed, we regularly give information in universities and in Azerbaijan we have a growing number of students from Eu, USA, Japan and other countries ; anyone can get any advice from our website and from the Embassy itself.
[tabs-header-group open=”one” active=”yes”]L’intervistato: S.E. Vaqif Sadiqov [/tabs-header-group]
[tabs-content-group id=”one” active=”yes”]S.E. Vaqif Sadiqov è Ambasciatore della Repubblica dell’Azerbaigian presso l’Italia, Malta e San Marino e Rappresentante Permanente dell’Azerbaigian presso la FAO, l’IFAD e il WFP[/tabs-content-group]