President Ilham Aliyev received participants of meeting of Council of Heads of CIS Security and Intelligence Agencies

September 27, 2016

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today received participants of a meeting of the Council of Heads of the CIS Security and Intelligence Agencies held in Baku.
President Ilham Aliyev made a speech at the event.
Speech of President Ilham Aliyev
- A meeting of the Council of security bodies starts in Baku tomorrow. Let me welcome our guests, the heads of security agencies of friendly countries, and wish you good and productive work. I am sure that tomorrow's meeting will strengthen cooperation among the security agencies of our countries.
As far as I know, the agenda of your meeting is quite extensive, as many issues will be discussed. Of course, these issues will be discussed in a spirit of cooperation, mutual understanding and mutual support. We attach great importance to the activities of the Council and we believe that it is very effective and necessary, because it contributes to strengthening the cooperation among member countries and enhances security in our countries. Both in the bilateral and multilateral formats, Azerbaijan actively cooperates with member countries of the Council, and tries to contribute to the strengthening of security in our region and in the former USSR.

The current situation in the world is well known to all of us. Unfortunately, the threats are growing. Along with the traditional existing threats, new hotbeds of tension and conflict are emerging. The threat of terror has engulfed all the continents. I have repeatedly said this from high international platforms, as life confirms that I am not alone in this assessment, that it is impossible to ensure the security of a country on one’s own. Without collaboration, cooperation and joint efforts in the fight against terrorism, radicalism and extremism, it is very difficult to achieve security. I think the world is now increasingly in favor of the idea that there are no good terrorists. One shouldn’t divide terrorists into those who oppose your own country or the country of your adversary or opponent. The fight against terrorism should be global. The events we are unfortunately observing in our region, in the CIS, in the world and in Europe confirm the thesis that it is necessary to joint efforts, exchange information, maintain sincere cooperation among secret services of all countries in order to prevent threats.
The activities of the bodies you are leading are quite specific. They are hidden from the eyes of the vast majority of members of society, and your activities should be evaluated by the existing situation. If everything is quiet and safe, the security bodies work well. Your professional successes often remain outside the public eye, because your activity is fairly specific. The successes the security bodies of our countries have achieved in recent years are sometimes unknown. But people are well aware that security bodies do their work and stand on guard of law and security every day, seven days a week. Therefore, of course, I want to reiterate that the Council, which has a long history – tomorrow's meeting will be the 41st meeting of the Council, you have been meeting quite often – has already proved effective, especially in the current circumstances, when there is a great need for consolidation of efforts, coordination of activities and, of course, timely exchange of information. With regard to the exchange of information on potential threats, we are not talking not even about days but hours.

Therefore, we strive and will continue to strive for strengthening cooperation with partner countries. We all live in a difficult region, the world is changing and the threats are growing. Terrorist organizations have access to very dangerous types of weapons and technology. Of course, this is of great concern. The events in the Middle East, which are almost out of control now, the terrorist attacks on European capitals and other regions of the globe, the growing tension - all this is the reality of today's world. We live in a real world and have to react adequately and prevent these threats. Therefore, each country, of course, seeks to make the most of its potential to create the necessary conditions for the activity of secret services. We in Azerbaijan pay a lot of attention to this sphere. Our intelligence agencies are equipped with modern technology and equipment. Their professionalism and efficiency are growing. Of course, for our part, we will always work closely with partner countries with which we share a long history of living together in one state, and over the last 25 years we have been building our relations on the basis of historical traditions of friendship and mutual support as independent countries. Therefore, I want to say again that we attach particular importance to tomorrow's meeting. I am glad that it will be held in our country. In the years of independence and in recent years, Azerbaijan has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to confront any threats.

Another important topic I would like to mention – I also spoke this at the recent CIS Summit in Bishkek where, in my speech, I touched upon the issue of joining effort in the fight against terrorism – is that countries of the CIS are united not only by a common history but also by a common understanding of the need to strengthen cooperation. I think that CIS countries can share a very important experience of interacting with peoples of different history, culture, traditions and religion. This is our huge asset. In previous years, we may have treated these issues not as acutely. It seemed to us that this is the way it should be. It should indeed! But this is not the case everywhere. Unfortunately, tensions and confrontation on confessional and ethnic grounds have been on the increase lately. This poses a great danger to the whole world and our countries. All our countries are multiethnic and multi-confessional. In all our countries, there is peace and understanding with all the peoples living on our territory. This, I believe, is a great merit of our peoples and, of course, of the leaders who pursue a correct policy in this direction. We show the example of cooperation in the political sphere, economy, social, cultural spheres and security. We are demonstrating that no matter how certain circles may treat this, the principles of multiculturalism live and prevail.

I must say that this year has been declared a "Year of Multiculturalism" in Azerbaijan. We have hosted the Forum of the UN Global Alliance of Civilizations. Two days later, we will host the Fifth Baku International Humanitarian Forum. In previous years, we held a lot of activities related to inter-religious dialogue, and today the experience we have gained is of great interest to many countries. The same applies to the countries you represent because, naturally, I follow the events in our region, the former Soviet Union, and the world at large. And I observe positive dynamics.
So all these issues are interrelated. Issues related to the level of education are directly linked to security, because brainwashing and radical ideology gain ground where education is not given due importance. One of the advantages we have inherited from the Soviet past is education and literacy. There is absolute literacy in our countries, and this is an achievement we should definitely preserve. The contacts that exist among our citizens at different levels, especially among young people, are also an important factor in strengthening security. Young people get to know each other, pay visits, communicate, make friends and, of course, treat each other as friends and partners. Therefore, the work of security agencies can’t be separated from the policy of the state. We in Azerbaijan conduct a consistent policy aimed precisely at strengthening cooperation, mutual understanding, mutual agreement and inter-religious accord. As a multiethnic state, we are proud of all our citizens. I think that this is the main basis for such a successful development of Azerbaijan in terms of strengthening security, solution of economic and social issues and the country's overall development.

There is a lot of work in store for you tomorrow. I wanted to convey some of my thoughts to you, wish you success and thank you for coming to Baku to discuss important issues. I also think you that this is a good opportunity to see the realities of Azerbaijan once again, have good work and rest tomorrow. Welcome again!