Akshin Mehdiyev: Azerbaijani candidate appointed OIC permanent observer to EU in serious competition

Baku: Interview with Akshin Mehdiyev, the newly appointed permanent observer of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to the European Union

– You have been recently appointed the OIC permanent observer to the EU. First of all, we’d like to learn your opinion of the appointment.

– The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which is the successor to the Organization of Islamic Conference, is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the UN. The OIC includes 57 member states. Azerbaijan is an active member of the OIC, which has delegations to New York, Geneva, Addis Ababa, and Baghdad. In June 2013, the first OIC delegation to the EU was established in Brussels.

Because the appointment of an observer to the EU is not easy in essence, this process is carried out with much attention. After the recalling of the former representative, the OIC announced a competition for the vacancy. Each OIC member states nominated candidates to this position. The government of Azerbaijan has nominated me as an appropriate candidate. After the primary election, the names of candidates from Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Egypt, and Nigeria were included in the final list. All the candidates with abundant service were also carrying the status of an ambassador. The special commission comprised of the organization’s leadership had a long and multi-directional talk with each member in private. According to the results of the last competition, the Azerbaijani candidate was elected. The OIC leadership informed the Azerbaijani side about it. This is the short procedure of the appointment to this position. Azerbaijan’s candidate has been appointed to this position as a result of a serious competition.

– You are going to assume office on December 1. How are you planning your future activity? In light of the latest processes, what steps may possibly help eliminate these problems?

– I must note with regret that in fact, there are enough problems in this area. Necessary actions should be carried out to combat Islamophobia in Europe and assist in solving the problems of the people who became refuges as a result of tragic events in Syria and other countries of the Middle East. I can mention other external threats such as terrorism. Unfortunately, in most cases terrorism is mistakenly associated with Islam. Though some acts unconsciously in this issue, some others continue doing it deliberately. After the recent terror attacks in France, Turkey, Lebanon and Russian plane crash in Egypt which caused by a bomb, strengthening the fight against terrorism at the international level is of particular relevance.

It is necessary to extensively and intensively work with the largest circles of Europe for that Islam doesn’t promote terrorism as a means to achieve political goals.

Islam is a religion of peace promoting peaceful coexistence of different religious communities and nations. It should be noted that Muslim countries take the lead in the fight against terrorists who call themselves an “Islamic State. Muslim countries themselves often become the targets and victims of terror.

There are enough challenges and issues to be solved. It is important to work on deepening Islamic solidarity in order to promote Islamic values, strengthen cultural and other relations in non-Muslim countries, as well as demonstrate common position regarding the abovementioned issues and jointly struggle against challenges and threats in the modern world.

– How can Azerbaijan’s rich traditions of multiculturalism contribute to intercultural and interfaith dialogue in such a sensitive period?

– As mentioned by President Ilham Aliyev, multiculturalism is a way of life of the Azerbaijan people based on centuries-old traditions. Today, this policy being implemented at the state level served the creation of a successful Azerbaijani model of multiculturalism. In the light of the sensitivities of the modern era, the world is showing great interest in Azerbaijan’s development model as a good practice. In Addition, the international community praises an active contribution to the global dialogue of cultures and religions by Azerbaijan that is member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OSCE and Council of Europe.

In this context, it would be better to note the resolution declaring March 21 as International Day of Novruz adopted by the UN General Assembly on the initiative of Azerbaijan in 2010, and the UNSC-OIC joint session held for the first time on the initiative of Azerbaijan when it was UN Security Council non-permanent member in 2012-2013.

Appointment of an Azerbaijani diplomat as the OIC permanent observer to the EU is a reflection of respect for our country’s successful policy and will contribute to the development of mutual understanding and dialogue between the Islamic world and Europe.


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ألباكيركي، نيو مكسيكو، 18 تشرين الأول/أكتوبر، 2017 / بي آر نيوزواير / — أهلا بكم