Azerbaijan has embarked on a path of close cooperation with the West and has not changed its position until today, Prime Minister Novruz Mammadov said in his speech at the CAMCA regional forum in Baku on Friday, APA reports.
CAMCA (Central Asia-Mongolia-Caucasus-Afghanistan) Regional Forum is a non-political and non-partisan Forum established to promote region-wide discussions on means of advancing economic growth and social development in Greater Central Asia (Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan). The CAMCA Regional Forum is organized by the U.S.-based Rumsfeld Foundation.
"I appreciate what the Rumsfeld Foundation does, which aims to train leaders. Such institutions should have a great role in shaping inter-state relations and in the regulatory process,” the Azerbaijani premier said.
Mammadov noted that organizations such as the Rumsfeld Foundation should be more active.
"If so, international relations would not have been as tense as they are now. After the collapse of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact, relations improved in a short time span. Later on, there were tensions in international relations. There are some issues that should be taken into account by international actors. Discussions can be effective when you know the person better. However, attitude towards the people, the country and state is more complicated. In this case, the opposite side should learn more issues for relations. It would be difficult to establish fundamental relations with a people without knowing their traditions, mentality and history,” he said.
He went on to say that Azerbaijan is located in the most complex and important part of the world, at the junction of East and West, Islam and Christianity.
"Azerbaijan is a country rich in human and natural resources, the world’s most vulnerable region after the Balkans. I’ve not included the Middle East here,” Mammadov said.
He stressed that Azerbaijan has embarked on a path of close cooperation with the West and has not changed its position until today.
“Azerbaijan has not changed its position so far and has implemented great projects in this direction. Azerbaijan plays a role in rehabilitating the Silk Road, connecting Europe with Baku by railways,” Mammadov added.
The CAMCA Regional Forum is a networking event for the graduates of the Central Asia-Caucasus Scholarship Program announced by the US Rumsfeld Foundation in the spring and autumn of each year. The scholarship is granted to a group of young professional leaders from the region and invites them to a research program in Washington, D.C. for six weeks. The program participants meet with representatives of the American government, non-governmental and business circles there to extensively exchange information and views on Central Asia and the Caucasus. Since 2008, 17 students from Azerbaijan have participated in the scholarship program.