Leader of Azerbaijan Outlines Strategical Policy Points for Unity, Safety and Prosperity of the Nation

    A Determined, Clear, Mindful, Strong, Re-elected President Vows for Unity, Safety & Prosperity of his Nation, Peace for South Caucasus
    Fulfilling all Pledges since 2003, Entering into New Era, Opening up New Horizons with Promotion of Azerbaijanism Ideology
    Special Report From Editor’s Desk
    ( Courtesy AZERTAC The Azerbaijan State News Agency )
    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev delivered his inaugural speech on Feb 14 after his re-election on 07 Feb almost a year earlier than the actual schedule of the election. He stands taller than ever before , re-elected for another term of 7 years to head his state and people. Chairman of Central Election Commission, Mr. Mazakhir Panakhov announced the results after receiving data from all 6,537 polling stations. 92.12% of total cast votes were in favor of President Ilham indicating notable growth in his popularity from 86% in previous election to more than 92% today.
    It is the first election in the history of the country that has been held in all territories of Azerbaijan as is shared by the authorities for a first and the strongest reason behind why early election was held. The people of newly liberated karabakh region have also used their right of opinion to elect their head of state.
    CEC Chairman shared in the press briefing that it was the highest turnout in the history of elections in Azerbaijan. The enthusiasm of voters was praised by the observers who watched 30% of votes cast withing first two hours of the polling time.
    First among who extended congratulations was President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi as both countries enjoy cordial and close relations and cooperation in all sectors.
    Here is the statment of Pakistani counterpart ;
    “Your leadership continues to inspire progress and stability. Pakistan looks forward to strengthening our enduring friendship and cooperation. Best wishes for your continued success!”
    On February 14, the swearing-in ceremony of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev was held at the Milli Majlis attended by First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, state and government officials, and MPs.The participants warmly welcomed President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
    The inauguration of President , who was elected as President of the Republic of Azerbaijan by a nationwide vote, was declared open.Under the accompaniment of the ceremonial march, soldiers of the Armed Forces brought the National Flag of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the standard (flag) of the President of Azerbaijan onto the stage.
    Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan Farhad Abdullayev and judges of the Constitutional Court were invited to the stage.
    Addressing the event, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan Farhad Abdullayev said:
    As you know, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan, with its decision dated February 13, 2024, confirmed the results of the Central Election Commission regarding the snap presidential election in the Republic of Azerbaijan, declaring Mr. Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev as the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
    Under the Article 103 of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, President-elect of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev is invited for swearing-in ceremony in the presence of the judges of the Constitutional Court.
    President put his hand on the Constitution and took the oath:
    – I do swear to abide by the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan while executing the powers of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, protect state independence and territorial integrity, and serve the people with dignity.
    The President then put his hand on the Holy Quran and swore:
    – I put my hand on the Holy Quran and swear:
    I will remain loyal to and respect national and moral values and traditions that have been created by the people of Azerbaijan for centuries.
    The national anthem of the Republic of Azerbaijan was played.President Ilham Aliyev dropped to one knee and kissed the National Flag of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
    President’s Speech – Excerpts
    (The speech has been edited in a way that the main points remain highlighted for the facility of the reader while the essence of the speech is not effected. The President has outlined the future strategy for the state in all sectors. He has opened his mind and shared almost everything with the countrymen. The speech carries a strong message for the enemy and supporters about the determination of Azerbaijani nation to stand united against any design/ conspiracy from any side. The speech also sheds light on social development of liberated territories and keypoints of foreign policy of the state)
    First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the people of Azerbaijan for once again placing great confidence and supporting me in the presidential election. Let me assure my dear nation again that I will continue to spare no effort for the comprehensive development of Azerbaijan and protection of our territorial integrity.
    All Pledges since 2003 Fulfilled
    The people of Azerbaijan have been supporting me for more than 20 years. In 2003, when I was elected as President for the first time, I assured my dear people that I would try to meet all the goals ahead of us and live up to the high confidence of the people placed in me. All the pledges I made back in 2003 have now been fulfilled. The source of all our achievements is the Azerbaijani people, their trust in me and their ability to unite around a single goal. We have proved to the whole world that we are a great nation, that we are in charge of our own destiny, that we are capable of solving the problems facing the country ourselves without anyone’s help, and we are solving them once and for all.
    Restoration of Territorial Integrity
    The restoration of the territorial integrity of our country. I said from this lectern that the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict should be resolved only within the framework of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, that the people of Azerbaijan would never tolerate the creation of a second Armenian state on our territory and that we would liberate our native lands at any cost. Only two and a half years passed, more than 300 cities and villages were liberated, including the city of Shusha, our cultural capital, from the invaders. We restored historical justice by shedding blood and giving martyrs.
    I was saying that they should convince Armenia and take necessary steps to end this occupation before it was too late. Unfortunately, all my calls, all my warnings fell on deaf ears – as if they thought that the people of Azerbaijan would have to come to terms with this occupation. During these 44 days, our Army did not take a single step back, we were only moving forward. The liberation of Shusha was a historic event that also ended the Second Karabakh War. Because after that, Armenia was forced to sign the act of capitulation, waved the white flag and surrendered. Thus, the Second Karabakh War ended.
    Post War Period
    In the post-war period, we have demonstrated our principled position on all issues.However, as time passed, we saw that renewed territorial claims were made against us and that they did not want to give up their ugly deeds. We rightly demanded that all conditions and obligations should be fulfilled.
    Armenia undertook these obligations itself. Among them, first of all, there were obligations on the removal of illegal armed groups from the territory of Azerbaijan and on the road connection between the main part of Azerbaijan and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. These obligations were not fulfilled in three years. Armenia seems to have forgotten the results of the Second Karabakh War. Perhaps someone was giving them advice not to fulfill these obligations.
    Over the course of three years, not only did Armenia fail to withdraw its armed forces from the Karabakh region, it actually sent additional weapons and mines. Mine terror against us continued and even grew further. It was as if Armenia was trying to deceive the whole world, including us, that the armed units of the Armenian army are not present in Karabakh and that they are some self-defense forces. Those who believed in such nonsensical theories bear the responsibility together with the leadership of Armenia.
    Anti-Terror Operation
    Therefore, the anti-terror operation was inevitable. Contradictory points in Armenia’s position have become commonplace. If Armenia does not make some contradictory statements for a week, we start wondering what is going on there. The state that officially recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and declared it in October 2022 on the one hand did not give up its territorial claims against us on the other. All our steps had a logic behind them, each step was a logical continuation of the previous one whether it was related to the Lachin-Khankendi road or to the anti-terror operation.
    The anti-terror operation in September once again showed the strength of our Armed Forces. In a matter of just a few hours, the approximately 15,000-strong expeditionary corps of the Armenian army was completely paralyzed and was forced to sign the act of capitulation for the second time. With this, separatism in the territory of Azerbaijan was nipped in the bud. Azerbaijan fully restored both its territorial integrity and state sovereignty.
    Distinctive Feature of Presidential Election
    The key distinctive feature and importance of this presidential election is that it was the first time in the period of independence that an election was held on the entire territory of our country. As you know, I cast my vote in Khankendi. I could vote anywhere in Azerbaijan, but I thought it would be more correct to vote in Khankendi.
    Bloody crimes against our people started in the late 1980s in Khankendi. It was in the building where I voted in Khankendi that the genocide against our people was planned and controlled from. It was in the square in front of the building where I voted that Armenian nationalists and then the Armenian state made territorial claims against us. It was in that building that a special committee was placed in Soviet times to sever Karabakh from Azerbaijan. The vote I cast there, the ballot paper I dropped into that ballot box was not just a ballot paper. It was the final nail in the coffin of Armenian separatists.
    New Era
    A new era begins now. We are entering this period with a clear face and with our heads held high. There will be further achievements in this era, and I have no doubt about that. Because the history of recent years shows that all the tasks we set for ourselves are fulfilled. Of course, the whole of Azerbaijan is entering this era, and the people who have demonstrated unity, including great unity in this election, will achieve even greater success. I have no doubt about that. The very positive atmosphere prevailing in Azerbaijani society makes us even stronger.
    A strong Azerbaijan has always been our goal. If we had not built a strong Azerbaijan, if we had depended on someone else, either politically or economically, we would never have been able to restore our territorial integrity. As part of the lengthy negotiations, some unfinished proposals were put forward to us many times. However, those proposals were unacceptable for us. I always said that the Azerbaijani flag would fly in every part of our territory.
    Strengthening the Armed Forces
    I believe that one of the primary goals for us in the coming years is to further strengthen our Army, the Armed Forces. Today, necessary steps are being taken for the future development of our Armed Forces. Necessary weapons and equipment are being purchased, new armed units are being set up. The number of Special Forces has been increased several times, the number of soldiers in the new “Commando” units is in its thousands, and this process continues.
    We have created an Army that – these things will be continued – no one can pick on us and even thing about that in the future. A fitting rebuff was immediately given to yet another provocation committed by Armenia the other day, and the enemy was punished. Thus, the process of building an army will be continued. Even today, the biggest expenses in our state budget are military expenses and, together with that expenses, the reconstruction of Karabakh and Eastern Zangezur.
    Self Reliance in Defence
    We are creating a very powerful military and industrial complex, the first phase of which has already been completed. The second stage will be even more extensive. This year alone, at least one billion manats will be invested by both private and public enterprises in this, and we will provide ourselves with an even larger amount of weapons and equipment, export a larger amount. I can say that we will largely get rid of foreign dependence in this area as well. Just as in the political and economic sphere, we have zero chance of being affected by foreign influence, because we are conducting an independent policy.
    Protection of Borders
    We must protect our borders more vigorously. I am setting this task as a priority. Important steps have been taken in this direction, especially if we take into account the fact that after the Second Karabakh War we returned both to the Azerbaijani-Iranian border, which was occupied at that time, and to the conditional border between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
    Of course, the construction of border infrastructure is of particular importance, and here we are using and will continue to use the most modern approaches. Our border should be so reliably closed, so that not even a bird can fly through. Protecting our borders will also protect us from external risks. Because there are no risks inside the country. All potential risks are located and generated outside the borders of our country.
    Education of Youth
    Ideological risks know no bounds, especially in the current situation. Therefore, the main task is to educate the young generation in the spirit of patriotism and national traditions. We have to approach this issue very seriously, and I am setting this task as a priority. Educating the younger generation means securing our future.Of course, further ideological provocations against us are not ruled out.
    We have to raise a young generation that will always be as faithful to national traditions and moral values as we are. Their minds should be pure. Let no one succeed in trying to poison their brains. Of course, family education comes first in this. Fortunately, the Azerbaijani family is a healthy family, a family resting on traditions and national values. Family education is the primary education for every young person and child. Second comes school education, and Azerbaijani schools have played a great role in educating such successful young people.
    Creation of Civil Society
    We will continue to take steps related to the creation of civil society in Azerbaijan. The solidarity of the Azerbaijani people is one of our biggest achievements. The brilliant Victory in the Second Karabakh War once again shows that the people of Azerbaijan are a great nation. All ethnic groups and peoples living in Azerbaijan are united under the flag of Azerbaijan. In this Victory, in this historic Victory, every nation living in our country has made its own valuable contribution.
    The ideology of Azerbaijanism, the principles of Azerbaijanism have long been established in Azerbaijan. One of the valuable legacies left to us by Great Leader Heydar Aliyev is the ideology of Azerbaijanism. We, as his followers, are invigorating these positive tendencies. All peoples living in Azerbaijan live like a single and friendly family. Those who want to undermine our unity, no matter how hard they try, have not succeeded and never will succeed. Because we are all rallied around a single cause.
    The forces that don’t like us, the anti-Azerbaijani forces that don’t accept our power and can’t digest our brilliant Victory over Armenia will try to capitalize on this factor. But, their efforts will be in vain. Our unity must serve as a barrier in front of these efforts, and it does. Necessary steps will be taken in this direction. Of course, society, government officials and state institutions have a unified policy here, and this policy manifests itself in everyday life.

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    Restoration of Karabakh & East Zangezur
    Another important task is the restoration of Karabakh and Eastern Zangezur. I can say that every unbiased foreign visitor to the liberated lands is truly astonished with the work being done there. The pace of restoration work after such devastation is probably unprecedented in history.
    We should also take into account the fact that the contemptible enemy mined our territories and more than 300 people have already lost their lives or their health because of that. Unfortunately, we hear such horrific news every week. The demining process is underway and 120,000 hectares of lands have already been cleared, but the mined area is much larger. Despite all this, the process of returning the former IDPs to their ancestral lands is going on successfully.
    To date, approximately 5,400 IDPs have already been returned and settled in five settlements. IDPs will return to at least 20 settlements this year. Our plan is to settle 20,000 former IDPs in five cities and 15 villages by the end of the year. Master plans of more than a hundred cities and villages have been prepared and approved. Construction work has already started in many cities and villages. We will complete the first phase of the Great Return program by the end of 2026, when 140,000 displaced people will have returned to their ancestral lands.
    Social Infrastructure
    In parallel with this, the entire social infrastructure is being built, hospitals, schools, sports and infrastructure facilities, roads, more than 130 tunnels and bridges – 40 tunnels and 90 bridges – are under construction. In other words, this goes to show the scale of the work. The entire electricity sector has been rebuilt, railways are being built, two international airports have been inaugurated, and the third one will be opened in Lachin. So extensive construction work will be carried out. Of course, new houses will be built for the displaced, residences complying with modern urban planning requirements will be constructed, and the historical appearance of our cities will be restored.
    Of course, our economy must develop to achieve all this. The results of January of this year are quite encouraging. Gross domestic product has increased by 5 percent and in the non-oil sector by more than 12 percent. This is an encouraging indicator. It shows that we are steadily regaining our economic pace.
    For comparison, I can say that our gross domestic product in 2003 was 7 billion dollars, whereas according to the results of last year, this figure is at 72 billion dollars. In other words, this is the main indicator of our economic development in 20 years. Our foreign exchange reserves in 2003 were 1.6 billion dollars, today they already constitute 69.5 billion dollars.
    Notice how much we have increased our foreign exchange reserves in these 20 years. This is one of the key factors of our economic and financial independence. As a result of the policy, our direct foreign debt has dropped to 6.4 billion dollars, which accounts for only 9 percent of our gross domestic product, even less than that.
    In developed countries, this number is at 100 percent, maybe at 140 percent, and we have it at less than 9 percent. So what does this mean? These are indicators of our sound financial system, which allows us the opportunity to conduct an independent policy. Today, Azerbaijan, which does not depend on anyone, is developing confidently and successfully, and conducts its foreign policy accordingly.
    The work done in the social sphere is also obvious. In 2003, our minimum wage was 9 manats – many probably don’t remember that. Now it is 345 manats. Of course, this is not enough, but the dynamics are there and will be continued. The minimum pension was 20 manats in 2003. Today it has reached 280 manats.
    The average pension is more than 500 manats. The average salary is 940 manats. Of course, I repeat that we can’t be complacent. But there is dynamics, there is development, and most importantly, there are great prospects.
    The reforms carried out in the economic sphere have already created a completely new investment environment in Azerbaijan. Whereas in previous years investment was mostly made in the oil and gas sector, today the investment in the non-oil sector is measured in billions of dollars. Agreements reached and contracts signed will manifest themselves in the next few years. Progress will be so big that everyone will see it.
    Poverty & Unemployment
    We must, of course, continue our work on poverty and unemployment. Poverty is at the level of 5 percent in Azerbaijan. In 2003, it was about 50 percent. Efforts to address unemployment should be consistent to maintain it at a low level. Our population has grown by 3 million people in the years of independence, and unemployment is usually a serious problem in countries with growing populations, including ours. We need to create tens of thousands of jobs every year.
    Of course, domestic resources are not sufficient for this. Foreign investment is necessary, and economic reforms, including those on improving the business environment, competition and antitrust measures, will improve this business environment. Of course, Karabakh and Eastern Zangezur will be a new pillar of our economic development. In those regions, projects related to agriculture, renewable energy and tourism will provide great support to the non-oil sector.
    One of the important issues in the social sphere is the social protection of the families of martyrs and those disabled in the war. I can say that 14,800 houses or apartments were given by the state to people from this category. The process of providing homes to 100% of people in this category is advancing rapidly, including this year and the next.

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    Technological Development
    We came out of the Second Karabakh War with minimal losses due to technical means. Therefore, goals related to technological development have been defined and issued to all relevant institutions. This work, of course, requires mobilization. State policy alone is not sufficient here. Technological development, digitization, cyber security, application of artificial intelligence – all these should become part of our daily life. Government agencies, the private sector and all other segments of society must be ready for this. Otherwise, we will lag behind others.
    I do not see any dangers or threats to Azerbaijan but I know why – because they know that our response will be merciless, it will be crushing and it will be given regardless of anything. Therefore, if we do not achieve technological development, if there are not just not a few thousand but tens of thousands of Azerbaijanis in this business, we may be overtaken. Therefore, I think that all institutions and, at the same time, society should know and see this as a duty.
    Renewable Energy
    Another important goal is related to renewable energy. We are in the forefront here as well and work has already been started. According to our plans, about 5,000 megawatts of renewable energy, new energy types, should be created in Azerbaijan by the end of 2030 – mainly solar, wind and hydropower plants. The figure I have cited is completely realistic, it will be based on the contracts already signed. Protocols of intent indicate a higher figure, approximately 10,000 megawatts. Thus, we will be able to export a large amount of our natural gas. It will be saved. Most of the electricity will be produced by renewable energy.
    Climate Change – COP 29
    We will also contribute to the climate change agenda, especially considering that this year Azerbaijan will host COP29 – the largest international conference in the world. Therefore, our goals regarding renewable energy are clear. I must also state that all these projects are being implemented and will be implemented by foreign investors. If it is possible to say so, we are now observing a process of competition among foreign investors. Because so many countries want to invest in this field in Azerbaijan we don’t have such opportunities as yet. However, the International Finance Corporation, a branch of the World Bank, has identified our wind potential at the level of 157,000 megawatts.
    Conventional Fuel
    Work will be continued in the field of conventional fuel – oil and gas. Work is underway on stabilizing oil production, I think there will be results in the near future. We need sustainable oil production, and we have set this task before the investors. There have been certain points of concern and these issues are due to be addressed through business contacts.
    Regarding natural gas. We are already exporting natural gas to eight countries. The demand is greater, first of all, of course, from the European Union. More and more people are asking us for help. These are the requests being made to us. And we, as a reliable partner, are always ready to help those in need. And we do provide this help, which is appreciated. It is not always appreciated, but we are satisfied with this situation in principle.
    Exports to Europe
    In the future, our export geography will increase in the direction of Europe, of course. Our new resource base was launched recently. After the Shah Deniz field, first gas has been produced from the Absheron gas-condensate field, our second biggest field, and we will probably start the second stage of development of this field in the near future. Gas production from deep reservoirs of the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field is planned next year. This will increase our resource base.
    In addition to that, there are proposals from many foreign investors to start production from Umid, Babek, Shafag, Asiman, Garabagh oil and gas-condensate fields. In the past, forces that did not like us spread rumors that there is no oil in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has maintained oil production at a high level since 1997 and exports oil to many countries. They said there was no gas in Azerbaijan. Of course, this is also nonsense – the fields I have mentioned are clear evidence of that.
    Of course, we will continue our work in the field of transport. Today, Azerbaijan is recognized as a global transport hub. We receive applications from the West, the East, the North, and the South. The entire transport infrastructure in the territory of Azerbaijan is in operable condition. Some railways simply need to be modernized, and we are doing that. It is probably impossible for the geopolitical situation in the world to change in the near future. Under such circumstances, the need for our transport infrastructure will further increase.
    Our advantage is that we have implemented all the necessary infrastructure projects in the Caspian Sea – the railway infrastructure, highways, seaport, shipyard, which is working at full capacity today. When that plant was first put into operation, orders provided it with full workload.
    We have eight international airports and the ninth one is under construction in Lachin. So we are ready. Let those who are not ready do their work and implement the infrastructure projects that are lacking in their areas. Of course, based on international experience, we showcase our opportunities as a transit country. Of course, we will receive both economic and political dividends from that.
    Landlocked but Self Reliant
    Azerbaijan is a landlocked country. However, for the reasons I mentioned, we have become one of the transportation hubs. Gradually, our role will increase, the number of requests to us will also increase, just as they have been asking us “give us gas, give us gas, we don’t have enough gas”. The situation will be the same here.
    We are not asking anyone for anything. I have been the president for more than 20 years and so far I have not asked anyone for anything, because there was no need for that. We are a fully self-sufficient country. We support cooperation in a bilateral format and our foreign policy is designed for this – equitable relations, respect for each other, good relations with each other and, as they say, non-interference in each other’s affairs. These are our principles. We have dictated these principles and succeeded in having them accepted.
    Foreign Policy
    A strong economy, a strong army, domestic stability, the unity between the people and the government are the key factors of our foreign policy. Because foreign policy, as everyone knows, is a continuation of domestic policy. Therefore, from now on, our foreign policy will continue to be clear and open.
    Today, the world community likes and supports our policy. If this were not the case, 155 countries would not have elected us as a member of the UN Security Council. If this were not the case, 120 countries would not have elected us to chair the Non-Aligned Movement. If this were not the case, the world community would not have made a decision to hold the COP29 Conference in Azerbaijan.
    Sometimes we hear that some countries or a group of countries want to take over the functions of the international community and try to speak on behalf of it. When they have nothing to say, they say that the international community will not perceive this issue well.
    First, it is a matter of modesty. Any limited number of 20-30 countries cannot speak on behalf of the international community, not to mention one country. The international community is on our side, the international community supported us during the Second Karabakh War and during the anti-terror operation. I think the international reputation of Azerbaijan is not a secret to anyone today.

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    Organization of Turkic States
    We will take our own steps regarding international organizations. First of all, we will continue our efforts within the framework of the Organization of Turkic States. This is a priority for us. I want to say it clearly. The current policy makes it clear to everyone. This is the main international organization for us, because it is our family. We have no other family. Our family is the Turkic world.
    We feel perfectly good there. We have fraternal relations with all countries that are members of the Organization of Turkic States, and our policy is to strengthen the Organization of Turkic States. It is a large geography, a large territory, a large military power, a large economy, natural resources, transportation routes, young and growing population, and peoples from the same roots. Can there be a stronger union than this? Of course not! We must make joint effort so that the Organization of Turkic States becomes an important actor and power center in the global arena. We can only achieve this together.
    If anyone thinks that we should look for a family elsewhere, I can say that we are not welcome anywhere and they are not even hiding this any more. Even in the South Caucasus, where there are only three countries, we can clearly see these dividing lines today. Under such circumstances, should we bow to those who do not want to accept us somewhere? Absolutely not! Our family is the Turkic world.
    Organization of Islamic Cooperation
    The Organization of Islamic Cooperation always stood with Azerbaijan during and after the occupation, as well as during and after the Second Karabakh War and the anti-terror operation. Azerbaijan is a valuable member of this organization. The attitude towards Islamic religion and all religions in Azerbaijan is highly appreciated by this organization. This organization unites all Muslim countries. Of course, acceptance and support of our initiatives in this organization has a special meaning.
    The Non-Aligned Movement
    Although we have already handed over chairmanship, we are still presented in the troika. The Non-Aligned Movement entered a new level during our presidency, and we certainly cannot allow it to decline to whatever extent. I am sure it won’t. On our part, we will do our best to strengthen the Non-Aligned Movement as an institution. If it is necessary to help solve the problems facing member countries, of course, we will do that.
    New Horizons
    In general, we should open up new horizons in the direction of foreign policy in this new era. Whereas in the previous period the main direction of our foreign policy was the solution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, today this issue is almost no longer on the agenda. This is why new directions of our foreign policy should prevail. We will be more active in solving problems of concern in the world, including climate change. Considering that we will be the host and chair of COP29, we must be at the forefront of the fight against Islamophobia in the world.
    We should be with the countries fighting against neo-colonialism. We are showing and will continue to show support in the fight for complete eradication of neo-colonialism and the remnants of that ugly history from the face of the Earth. Those responsible for neocolonialism should also know that they have unleashed a cold war on us in vain. We will not lag behind. We have never been on the defensive. We will take adequate measures to the steps taken against us, and those who are preparing cunning plans against us, I am sure, will regret it.

    Azerbaijan-Armenia Relations

    I am raising this issue at the end of my speech not by chance. I think that the importance of this issue is artificially exaggerated. Armenia’s patrons always want to discuss this issue, to show their effort, to pull the blanket to their side, to be mediators. First, to be a mediator, you need to be at least superficially neutral. We know what there is in your heart. But at least on the face of it, you have to follow some diplomatic rules. We do not need a mediator in this matter.
    I have said this before and I want to say it again from this lectern. We have resolved our problem. We have initiated the signing of a peace agreement with Armenia. We were the author of the five well-known principles. We also wrote the text of the peace agreement and sent it to the Armenian side.
    Now, if Armenia wants to comply with the norms of international law, this agreement will be signed. If he doesn’t and if groundless claims continue to be made against us, this agreement will not be signed, but nothing will change for Azerbaijan. I have already said that we should be ready for the challenges ahead of us, for the ugly policy being conducted against us.
    Therefore, I think that the process of normalization of Azerbaijan-Armenia relations should be dropped from the international agenda. Because anyone seems to want to deal with this issue. Mind your own business! This is why I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this topic, because it’s not worth it. We have resolved our problem. Today we are in Aghdam, Fuzuli, Lachin, Jabrayil, Zangilan, Gubadli, Kalbajar, Shusha, Hadrut, Khojaly, Aghdara, Asgaran, Khankendi! This new era begins successfully.
    I am sure that it will also continue successfully. Good luck to all of us on this journey, may our path be clear!


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