The Organization Of The Islamic Conference

Azerbaijan-OIC
As an integral part of the Islamic world with its historical past, religious, cultural and spiritual values, Azerbaijan's accession to the Organization of the Islamic Conference on December 1991 opened up new horizons in international arena for Azerbaijan. Through this, Azerbaijan received consistent support from OIC and its member states. If, first, the General Secretariat of OIC made statements on Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict supporting the position of Azerbaijan, subsequently the OIC conferences adopted weighty resolutions on Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. In these resolutions the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict is defined unambiguously as aggression of Armenia against the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The OIC Foreign Ministers' XXI Karachi Conference of 1993, XXII Casablanca Conference of 1994, Canary Conference XXIII of 1995 adopted resolutions on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. At the OIC Foreign Ministers' XXIV Jakarta conference of 1996 the title of appropriate resolution was changed and called "On the aggression of the Republic of Armenia against the Republic of Azerbaijan". Since that, at the all OIC Foreign Ministers' Conferences the title of these resolutions remained unchanged. It should be noted that the OIC Heads of States and Governments Teheran Conference VIII of 1997, Doha Conference IX of 2000, and Putrajaya (Malaysian city) Conference X of 2003 adopted resolutions of the same title.

The latest resolutions, distinctly from the previous ones, have been improved with new paragraphs adding: "Urges all States to refrain from providing any supplies of military arms and equipment to Armenia, which can encourage the aggressor to escalate the conflict and to continue the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories; The territory of Member States should not be used for transit of such supplies; Calls upon Member States, as well as other members of the international community, to use such effective political and economic measures as required in order to put an end to Armenian aggression and to occupation of the Azerbaijani territories; Considers, that Azerbaijan has the right for appropriate compensation with regard to damages it suffered, and puts the responsibility for the adequate compensation of these damages on Armenia; Requests the Secretary General to follow up the implementation of this resolution and to report thereon to the Eleventh Session of the Islamic Summit Conference.

Resolution adopted by the Putrajaya Conference X of the OIC Head of State and Government clearly illustrates the present level of Azerbaijan-OIC relations. Along with above-mentioned political resolution, the Conference adopted a resolution "On providing economic aid to the Republic of Azerbaijan". The resolution condemns occupation by Armenia of the Nagorno-Karabakh and other regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and actions accompanied by forceful displacement about one million people; expresses full solidarity with the Government and people of Azerbaijan in a difficult and crisis period of the countries' history; and addresses the OIC member states, Islamic institutions, as well as international organizations to provide necessary economic, financial, and humanitarian assistance with a view to ease the suffering of the Azerbaijan people.

The Conference also adopted the third document dealing with our country - "On Elimination and destruction of Islamic historical and cultural monuments in the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan as a result of Armenian aggression". Consisting of wide and comprehensive preamble and 7 paragraphs, the resolution aims at protection of Azerbaijan's cultural and historical monuments in the occupied territories.

Considering the appropriate report of the OIC Secretary General on this issue, the Conference condemned atrocities of the Armenian aggressors aimed at full elimination of the Islamic civilization in the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, demanded unconditional and obligatory fulfillment by Armenia of the UN SC resolutions (822, 853, 874, and 884), and requested the OIC Secretary General to inform the UN, OSCE, and other international organizations about the position of the OIC member states on this issue.

Adoption of resolutions without discussions, corrections and revision as drafted by the Government of Azerbaijan, once more confirms that the Islamic world is closely acquainted with our problems and consistently supports us. In its turn, this is a result of a well-designed foreign policy. Participation of President Heydar Aliyev at the OIC VII Casablanca Conference of 1994 and VIII Teheran Conference of 1997, his speeches and meetings echoed in the Islamic world. The OIC Ex-secretary General Azzeddine Laraki's answer to the question of journalist after the meeting with the Azerbaijan President in the days of Teheran Conference is the obvious proof: "I am proud of meeting with the President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev and listening to his thoughts. I am proud that he highly praised the activity of our organization. We will do our best for making relations of our organization with Azerbaijan classier... I assured Mr. President that the OIC always was on the side of Azerbaijan and it will be so in the future. I also assured Mr. President that liberation of Azerbaijan's occupied territories is our unchanging position. I consider that close cooperation of Azerbaijan with the OIC shows President Heydar Aliyev's wisdom".

It should be noted, that the OIC resolutions have significance for Azerbaijan, beyond political. Great amount of humanitarian, technical and other assistance provided to Azerbaijan is enshrined in documents adopted at the OIC Conferences. Since 1994 Islamic Development Bank (IDB) every year sends 2500 pieces (recently this figure doubled) of sacrificial sheep and covers their transportation expenses to Azerbaijan. Moreover, IDB allotted $500,000for humanitarian assistance to refugees, and $1 mln. for machines and equipment to create jobs.

In order to prepare technical and economic basis of social development projects in Azerbaijan, IDB provided non-repayable grant of $1.424 mln. The total sum of privileged credit to Azerbaijan provided by IDB is more than $74 mln.

The humanitarian enterprises of Saudi Arabia, Assistance Program after King Fahd, assistance from some humanitarian organizations and foundations of the Gulf States' is carried out under the above-mentioned documents.