A limited format session of the Council of CIS Heads of State was held in Sochi, Russian Federation on October 11.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the agenda of the session was extensive, covering discussions on ways of strengthening mutual relations within the CIS in the years to come and on how to improve the efficiency of cooperation among CIS countries.
The Russian President emphasized that the meeting would mainly focus on the development of relations in a number of areas, including economics, trade, investment, and humanitarian fields.
President Putin underlined ample opportunities for implementing new large-scale projects based on mutual interests and expressed confidence that the meeting would give an impetus to the expansion of the exchange of experience in the fields of culture, education, science and tourism.
In his remarks, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Executive Secretary of CIS Sergey Lebedev noted that the agenda of the meeting included 16 issues. The submitted draft documents have been reviewed by experts and coordinated with representatives of the countries. Economic documents have been approved by the CIS Economic Council.
Addressing the event, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said he would like to address mainly humanitarian issues.
“Azerbaijan plays an important role in international humanitarian cooperation. Our country regularly hosts major international events. Among them, I would like to particularly emphasize Baku International Humanitarian Forum, which is held under the patronage of the Presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan and has become traditional. I can say that this forum, in a way, has turned into a rare event focusing mostly on issues of humanitarian cooperation, inter-faith dialogue, and the dialogue of civilizations. The World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue is regularly held in Azerbaijan as well. This forum has approximately the same agenda as the Baku Humanitarian Forum. Thus, every year, Azerbaijan becomes a venue for discussions on these issues,” President Ilham Aliyev said.
The President said further that joining efforts aimed at focusing attention on multiculturalism and inter-faith dialogue is particularly topical. Moreover, Baku hosted the 7th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations last year. Thus, Azerbaijan has already been recognized as one of the world centers for discussions on humanitarian issues.
The President stressed the major sporting events held in Azerbaijan, such as Baku 2015 European Games and the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games that took place in 2017. The total number of the participating countries exceeded 100. These Games were also a good format for intercultural and inter-faith dialogue.
President Ilham Aliyev noted that tourism was an important facet of export, stressing the significance of the development of tourism in CIS space and discussions on the creation of certain joint tourism routes.
In conclusion, President Ilham Aliyev referred to security issues. He welcomed the fact that Azerbaijan paves the way for reduction of risks in this regard. He noted that the first meeting of the Russian and US chiefs-of-staff was held in Baku. The first meeting of Russia’s chief-of-staff and the NATO military command took place in Baku as well. The President added that Azerbaijan was ready to further contribute to the efforts of strengthening security and risk reduction.
On the same day, an expanded meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State was held in Sochi, Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that detailed discussions on mutual cooperation were held at the meeting in a limited format. He said that the chairmanship would pass to Tajikistan on January 1 next year.
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon said that the strengthening of the achieved results would remain as a priority during his country's presidency in the CIS. The President of Tajikistan stressed that economic, energy, alternative energy, transit of goods, logistics, agriculture, food security issues would be in the focus of attention, and the ties would be expanded in the fields of humanitarian aid, tourism, innovations, environmental protection, combating terrorism and organized crime.
Referring to the CIS's relations with international organizations, Turkmen President Gurbangulu Berdimuhammedov spoke about political cooperation. He noted that increasing mutual trust among the CIS countries was one of the most important issues.
Chairperson of the Council of the Interparliamentary Assembly of the CIS and Chairperson of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Valentina Matviyenko spoke about the activity of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly Council, and emphasized the dynamic development of humanitarian cooperation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said cooperation in the fields of political dialogue, security and economy had expanded, adding that the mutual trade turnover increased by 25 percent since the beginning of the year.
Afterwards, there was a signing ceremony. A total of 18 documents related to the organization's activity were signed.