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Azerbaijan committed to strengthening nuclear security in region and world: President


March 26, 2014

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attended the Third Nuclear Security Summit in Hague on March 24.

The president addressed on March 25 a plenary meeting of the two-day summit, aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism around the globe, brought together heads of state and government from more than 50 countries, heads of international organizations, and thousands of delegates and journalists.

After welcoming the participants in the summit, President Aliyev expressed his gratitude to the Government of the Netherlands for hosting the summit and hospitality.

Speaking about the important role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in strengthening nuclear security measures, the Azerbaijani head of state noted that his country is actively cooperating with this organization on many aspects of nuclear security and supports United Nations efforts aimed at strengthening the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, of which Azerbaijan is a member, and nuclear security.

He said Azerbaijan recently presented the United Nations its new report on further steps in the field of non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery.

President Aliyev noted that during the presidency of the UN Security Council in 2012 Azerbaijan organized discussions on international terrorism, including nuclear terrorism.

Referring to the importance of taking additional measures to ensure nuclear and radiation safety, President Aliyev said that Azerbaijan has been making great efforts to prevent the use of the country's territory as a transit route for illicit trafficking in nuclear materials, working closely with this purpose with international partners and forming a comprehensive national export control system, which meets appropriate international standards and is based on effective legislation.

President Aliyev said that in the recently adopted first "Maritime Security Strategy" of Azerbaijan, the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery and related materials is identified as one of the greatest threats to maritime security.

The president noted with regret that due to the continuing occupation of 20 percent of the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan and the policy of ethnic cleansing carried out against Azerbaijanis, the country has no ability to control part of its borders properly. This situation creates conditions for transnational organized crime, illegal transportation of nuclear and radioactive materials, as well as contamination by Armenia of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan through the disposal of radioactive waste.

Then the President of Azerbaijan, speaking about the dangers posed by the obsolete nuclear power plant in Armenia built almost 40 years ago, emphasized that the NPP is a big threat to the entire region and the nearest neighbors. The consequences of any accident at it will be tragic. But instead of eliminating international concern and closing the power plant, Armenia adopted a decision to continue operating the nuclear power plant until 2026 despite the fact that it is located in a highly-seismic zone and is based on an outdated and extremely dangerous technology.

President Aliyev noted that Azerbaijan plays a very important role in protecting security and stability in the region.

"We are committed to continuing cooperation with international organizations and our partners in strengthening nuclear security in the region and around the world and reducing threats emanating from illicit trafficking in nuclear and radioactive materials," the President said.

At the end of his speech, the head of state expressed confidence that through the persistent efforts of the international community led by the United Nations all challenges will be eliminated and a safer world will be created.

The second working day of the summit was devoted to the importance of national and international measures in the field of nuclear security. The importance of the further strengthening of cooperation between countries in this field was stressed. At this summit, world leaders also paid attention to the issue of long-term and fruitful international cooperation to prevent nuclear terrorism. Noting that the threat of nuclear terrorism still exists, they highlighted the importance of continuing measures to prevent this threat.

The plenary meeting was followed by an informal meeting of the summit on "The Future of the Nuclear Security Summit."

During the summit, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland David Cameron and Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi.

During the talks, the sides exchanged views on the development of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and these countries.

President Aliyev also met with Turkish President Abdullah Gul. At the meeting, discussions were held on the current state and prospects of Azerbaijani-Turkish relations.

At the end of the summit, leaders had a group photo taken.

Then a working lunch was given in honor of the heads of state and government.

The Summit culminated with the adoption of the final Communiqué.

The first Nuclear Security Summit was held in Washington DC in 2010 to draw attention, at the highest possible level, to the need to secure nuclear material and thus prevent nuclear terrorism. Some 47 countries and three international organizations participated in the first summit.

The second summit was held in Seoul in 2012. Some 53 countries and four international organizations were invited. The first summit was concerned with making political agreements, while the follow-up in Seoul focused on the progress made on implementing those agreements.

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