On September 11, the U.S. Chargé d'Affaires in Azerbaijan William R. Gill and Press Attaché Nathan Jones visited the International Eurasia Press Fund (IEPF). President of the IEPF Umud Mirzayev thanked the guests for visiting the organization. Umud Mirzayev touched upon the symbolic significance of the visit on September 11.
“We commemorate the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on September 11, 2001, as one of the victims of terrorism, deportation, and occupation, and we commemorate the victims of this terrible terror," he said.
Chargé d'Affaires William R. Gill mentioned that today is a crucial day for Americans.
“It is also a day for Americans to remember their friends. On the same day, Azerbaijan was one of the first countries that expressed its condolences to the United States. America remembers it,” William Gill said.
The IEPF President Umud Mirzayev noted that Azerbaijan has been suffering from the war, occupation for a long time and it is time to return more than one million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their homelands. He said that IEPF is carrying out various social humanitarian projects with the support of the U.S. Department of State in the war-affected regions of Azerbaijan.
“The rapprochement of people is a basis for the rapprochement of countries. Our projects implemented with the support of the American government aim to make peace and develop our country by bringing people closer to each other, increasing knowledge in different fields," stressed Umud Mirzayev. He said that, along with the cooperation of the U.S. Embassy to Azerbaijan, IEPF and local authorities have been making significant efforts to improve the educational trainings for IDPs living in frontline areas and develop agriculture, as well as infrastructure. Referring to the possibilities of Terter Vocational Education Center of IEPF, Umud Mirzayev highlighted the importance of the Center in terms of the future prospects of cooperation as well as support for local civil society organizations.
William R. Gill pointed out the opportunities and priorities of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, diversification of the economy in Azerbaijan, including the development of communities, cooperation with civil society institutions in the improvement of young people's knowledge and skills.
"America supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and we are closely involved as a country in the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We hope that the change of power in Armenia and the renewal of the Minsk Group's efforts will lead to progress in the settlement process. There are certain signs of this, which makes us glad,” he added.
William R. Gill stated that the U.S. government is also concerned about more than a million people displaced from their own native lands. In this regard, the United States has spent over $120 million in solving the problems of vulnerable groups over the past years.
IEPF Vice President Ramil Azizov touched upon the importance of the Fund’s peacekeeping action, social and humanitarian programs in the region and spoke about the prospects of cooperation in this direction and the results of the projects implemented with the financial support of the U.S. Embassy to Azerbaijan.
At the end, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires William R. Gill and Press Attaché Nathan Jones got acquainted with the activities carried out by the IEPF and expressed their satisfaction by joint cooperation with the IEPF. They stressed the importance of the work that is being implemented by the organization.