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Azerbaijani President Thanks Muslim World For Karabakh Support

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (file photo)
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has again thanked Muslim countries for lending unconditional support to Azerbaijan in the unresolved conflict over the breakaway Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Aliyev was quoted by his office as telling the Baku ambassadors of Islamic states that the Azerbaijani government continues to enjoy that backing.

He recalled their decisive role in the passage by the UN General Assembly in 2008 of a resolution on the Karabakh dispute that was rejected by Armenia.

The nonbinding resolution referred to Karabakh as an internationally recognized part of Azerbaijan and demanded an "immediate, complete, and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian forces" from occupied Azerbaijani lands.

Only 39 UN member states, most of them having predominantly Muslim populations, voted for that document, while over 150 other countries abstained or did not vote at all. The United States, Russia, and France -- the three co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Minsk Group that seeks to mediate a political solution to the conflict -- voted against the resolution.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has likewise repeatedly accused Armenia of unleashing aggression against Azerbaijan. The foreign ministers of OIC member states most recently did so in September last year.

Speaking on behalf of the diplomats, Uzbekistan's ambassador to Azerbaijan, Ismatillah Ergashev, was reported to reaffirm this stance.

"The diplomat pointed out that Muslim countries will continue to support the just position of Azerbaijan on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Aliyev's office said in a statement.

The statement also quoted the Azerbaijani leader as calling for greater "Islamic solidarity" and a "higher level of mutual support."

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