Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 15
The main aim of President Ilham Aliyev's policy is to turn Azerbaijan into a strong, developed, modern and influential country, Head of Azerbaijani Presidential Administration's Public and Political Issues Department, Ali Hasanov said.
"We believe that important success has been achieved in this direction over the last 10 years," Hasanov said in an interview with the Azerbaijani AzerTag news agency.
He noted that one of the tasks assigned in the past period was to secure building of the rule-of-law state in Azerbaijan, supporting civic initiatives and forming strong democratic society based on political pluralism.
"To this end the aligning of the existing legislation with international standards continued consecutively, the conditions, which prevent the development of political parties, non-governmental organizations and media outlets, were eliminated, and they were provided with a comprehensive state support," the top official stressed.
Hasanov said it is no a secret that one of major factors hindering the civil society institutes' development was the frequent law violations in this area, namely, the non-transparency, financial and accounting system's incompatibility with the most basic requirements, and so on.
He added that some external and internal circles, contrary to Azerbaijani national legislation's requirements, were using existing voids and interfering in the activities of political parties, NGOs and the media, financed them by illegal means and directed them accordingly.
"As a result of this, some NGOs under the guise of "people's diplomacy", established cooperation with local organizations controlled by special services of aggressive Armenia, and became spokesmen for the enemy country's interests," Hasanov stressed.
He said the saddest thing is that such NGOs and individuals, and some journalists, relying on foreign circles funding them, placed themselves above national law, shied away from registering their grant projects and presenting financial statements, evaded taxes and other legal requirements of the government.
"And the appropriate steps by government authorities are now, unfortunately, being presented by these circles as "a pressure on civil society", "restriction" of the NGOs' and the media's activity. A targeted slanderous campaign is being developed against Azerbaijan," Hasanov underscored.
He said the statements by some Western circles, a number of foreign organizations and media agencies about the alleged use of "authoritarian", "dictatorial" and other similar administration methods in Azerbaijan are unfounded and biased.
"Azerbaijan, both from legislative and practical points of view, fully provides appropriate conditions for free activity of the civil society institutions," Hasanov stressed.
He added that the government's main requirement is that the NGOs and the media in Azerbaijan should not abuse of democratic freedoms, and must ensure the rule of law in this area, like in developed European countries.
"The laws require that the NGOs should act in accordance with their own statutes, be deeply aware of their duties and responsibilities before the law, exercise the function of social control in the society in a healthy form, say "No" to those who involve them in politics, who want to turn them into an appendage of the political parties and a cheap tool in anti-Azerbaijani activities of some foreign circles," Ali Hasanov stressed.