Elmar Mammadyarov: Ministry and diplomatic missions of Azerbaijan continue operating
Azerbaijan, like any other country, is taking all necessary preventive and effective measures for the health of its citizens, for the security of our society and state. This process is under the direct control of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, and the First Vice-President, Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva
Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov answered questions about the activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Embassies and consulates of Azerbaijan in the context of the fight against coronavirus in our country and international cooperation in this area. The following is the interview.
He said the coronavirus pandemic is a threat that is being fought on a global scale today, and in this context Azerbaijan, like any other country, is taking all necessary preventive and effective measures for the health of its citizens, for the security of our society and state. This process is under the direct control of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, and the First Vice-President, Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva. To this day, our state has always been next to its citizens and showed attention to them. As part of the fight against the spread of the coronavirus infection, our state is mobilizing all its efforts and taking serious measures to protect the health of its citizens both in Azerbaijan proper and abroad. In particular, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the diplomatic missions of our country abroad continue to operate in a special mode. Our main objectives are to obtain complete information about our citizens temporarily located abroad (working, studying or traveling for other reasons), to respond to their requests, provide sound advice and coordination at a time when different countries have introduced a quarantine or a state of emergency, restricted and in many cases completely canceled overland and air transport. As is known, the Operational Headquarters has been set up under the Cabinet of Ministers to combat the coronavirus, and this headquarters regularly updates the population about the measures being taken. There is an operational headquarters under the Foreign Ministry too, which provides responses to the queries and questions sent to Foreign Ministry’s 24/7 “hotline” and Emails. In parallel, there are active “hotlines” of all our diplomatic missions. We recommend that our citizens abroad contact these “hotlines” if they have any queries in the current situation.
The hotlines receive hundreds of calls every day. Numerous emails are sent to our email boxes and every single one of them is answered. First of all, the appeal is recorded, contact details of the caller are noted, and then the appeal is forwarded to a relevant diplomatic mission and answered. At the same time, this information is forwarded to the Operational Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers. This process takes 24 hours. Most of the appeals are made by our citizens temporarily located abroad to receive education or for various other reasons. People mainly seek advice on how to behave in the current situation and how they can return to the country. It is known that the government has so far organized special charter flights to return about 10,000 of our citizens to Azerbaijan, conducted the necessary checkups and placed them under quarantine. It is also known that in the current circumstances it is very important to prepare quarantine places and hospitals with special regimes and provide them with the necessary logistics to enable the return of our citizens to the country. After all, we must understand that quarantine places are also limited. From this point of view, it is very important for our citizens to support the state and show understanding in this matter.
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