Azerbaijan’s achievements on world arena are well-deserved
Trend European Desk Commentator Elmira Tariverdiyeva
Azerbaijan has achieved many successes on the international arena since its independence. Azerbaijan -- objectively and without exaggeration -- is one of the few former Soviet republics that has found the right path toward economic development and global political positioning. Independence has brought Azerbaijan development - both economic and social. Now it is time to reap the benefits of our balanced policy.
For the first time, Azerbaijan was invited to the G20 meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico, on Feb. 18-20. This invitation was yet more proof that Azerbaijan has made the transition form an absolute regional leader to a major global player.
Despite the occupation of 20 percent of its territory by Armenia, and 1 million IDPs who cannot return home, Azerbaijan continues to be a leader in the South Caucasus. Today, Azerbaijan accounts for roughly 83 percent of the entire economy of the South Caucasus. However, a regional scope is too small. Azerbaijan now has all the chances to become an influential player on the global arena.
Energy wealth has played a vital role in the successful establishment of Azerbaijan. Initially, the world perceived the republic as an oil state. People talk more and more about its gas reserves. All of this has beneficial effects for the economy, as it did not deteriorate during the global crisis. The national currency hardly lost any value due to our strong stabilization fund. The country's GDP was 2 billion manats during the first years of independence. Today, it is 50 billion manats.
However, Azerbaijan's participation in the G20 forum does not only reflect the economic success of the energy-rich country. It is a proof of its political success, which became possible thanks to a balanced foreign policy. Azerbaijan is equally valuable for the two major world powers, the EU and the Middle East.
Azerbaijan gained credibility in the world, always supporting and continuing to maintain smooth and friendly ties with other countries.
It is always ready to help and contribute to stability and security in the common sphere. A wonderful example is Azerbaijan's participation in peacekeeping operations around the world.
The invitation to participate in such a prestigious forum as the G-20 is a continuation of series of our diplomatic victories. The last such accomplishment was Azerbaijan's election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Azerbaijan will chair the UN Security Council in May 2012 and September 2013.
The invitation to take part in the G20 is a victory, and proves Azerbaijan's dynamic development. No one doubts this at all. Azerbaijan's growing role in the region, its activity and its balanced international position are obvious to global players.
Moreover, Azerbaijan has been actively cooperating with international organizations, both bilaterally and multilaterally, for the mutual benefit of both parties.
Azerbaijan also actively cooperates with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. It joined the Non-Aligned Movement. It is UNESCO active member. Baku is negotiating with the EU on visa facilitation and cooperates with NATO. It has a peacekeeping contingent in Afghanistan.
It remains an important strategic partner in the region for Washington and Moscow.
All of these factors show that global players understand that cooperation with Azerbaijan in various spheres will make a significant contribution to maintaining peace and stability. Baku has proved itself to be a country with the desire and the opportunity to become a powerful member of the international community during its independence. Azerbaijan's victory is a historic diplomatic victory, proving that the country is not only well known and recognized throughout the world, but also widely supported by the international community. Today, Azerbaijan has the chance to prove to everyone that it can occupy a rightful place in any international body.