Ali Hasanov: Azerbaijan successfully overcame all ordeals in 2010
Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 21 / Trend E.Huseynov /
Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Social and Political Department head Ali Hasanov believes Azerbaijan has successfully overcome all ordeals in 2010.
After gaining independence, Azerbaijan has successfully implemented strategic priorities identified by National Leader Heydar Aliyev and the country is each year getting closer to achieving its goals, Ali Hasanov said in an interview with Trend. Thanks to thoughtful and pragmatic policies of President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan turned into a dynamic and democratic country, a country with great achievements in socio-economic sphere, which has a high international reputation. Our country has strengthened the status of political and economic center in the South Caucasus region and began to play a significant role in ensuring Europe's energy security, resolving global problems and making important decisions governing the international relations system. Events and processes that occurred in Azerbaijan and in the world in 2010, only confirm what was said.
He said 2010 is also remembered with natural disasters. A number of countries facing natural disasters could minimize the damage and get out of this difficult situation only with the help of the international community.
Heavy rains and floods led to the increased water levels in the Kur and Araz rivers. As a result, 3,500 houses were destroyed or came to the emergency state. The floods also destroyed numerous social sites. In this regard, President Ilham Aliyev held an emergency meeting with representatives of the state agencies. President Aliyev visited the disaster zone, familiarized with the situation on the ground and instructed to take necessary measures. The people affected by floods have been provided with temporary shelter, food, and medical assistance. The issues of education and communication found its prompt resolution. Measures were taken for the construction of dams and strengthening the river banks. The taken measures prevented human loss. At the next stage, the Azerbaijani government paid compensation to victims of last spring's natural disasters. The country constructed houses in the areas affected by the natural disaster and also carried out a number of relevant activities not to allow such disasters in the future, Hasanov said.
Hasanov believes this disaster has shown that the Azerbaijani government is able to eliminate the consequences of even the most serious problems of natural disasters. The state agencies in cooperation were able to fulfill all the tasks and their activities were coordinated at the highest level. Economic strength and financial capacity of our country can resolve the complex situation without recourse of other states. On the contrary, our country's relevant authorities are actively involved in disaster management, such as fighting forest fires in Russia and Israel. Azerbaijan provided assistance to various countries affected by natural disasters in 2010.
Regarding the socio-economic sphere, Hasanov said the country's economy again recorded a dynamic development in 2010, as in previous years. The country continued progressive measures to improve welfare. In the first nine months of 2010, Azerbaijan's economic growth made up 4.1 percent, while population income has increased by 11 percent, which exceeds the inflation rate twice. Azerbaijan's currency reserves are close to $30 billion. The country continues to implement infrastructure projects, lays roads, water systems, power lines and foundations of today's large objects. For example, the foundation for a new international sea trading port was laid in November this year. The commissioning of this facility will turn Baku into a modern and a great center of transportation and logistics, and create all conditions for the activity of the transport corridors North-South and East-West at full capacity.
Implementation of social projects successfully continues. This year, there has been increased wages, pensions and other payments for all areas. 128,000 families each month receive targeted social assistance from the state. Work on construction, and beautification of cities and villages are underway throughout the country. The country builds schools, health facilities and sports complexes.
In 2010, the country made significant steps towards the production and export of hydrocarbons. Azerbaijan is considered as a country that can potentially provide energy not only for the South Caucasus, but also Europe. In September, Baku hosted the Energy Summit with the participation of the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and the Hungarian Prime Minister. The sides signed the Baku Declaration on the AGRI project. According to experts, this project will take its place among the major power and gas projects in the region and in Europe.
Azerbaijan, in 2010, is expected to produce more than 50 million tons of oil and more than 28 billion cubic meters of gas. The State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) has successfully completed a project Umid and Azerbaijan became the owner of another rich gas field. Following the launch of the second phase of the Shah Deniz project, Azerbaijan will become one of the major countries that provide the European market with natural gas.
It is not incidental that the authoritative international bodies noticed comprehensive development of Azerbaijan. According to the report of the World Economic Forum, Azerbaijan ranked first among the CIS countries on the competitiveness of the economy. The latest UN report on human development, Azerbaijan rose by 67 places compared to 2005 from 101 positions and took the highest human development index among the CIS countries.
Hasanov also spoke about the country's achievement in the international arena.
"Baku hosted The World Religious Leaders Summit In April. This event has once again confirmed that Azerbaijan is playing an important role in the organization and development of interreligious dialogue at the global level. Another important event was the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Establishment of the Council of Strategic Cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan in September. The strengthening of friendly and brotherly relations between the peoples of Azerbaijan and Turkey, raising them at a quality level, is the desire and purpose of the leadership of both countries," Hasanov said. "Of course, these and other activities that I have not mentioned are indication of Azerbaijan's growing authority in the international and interstate relations. I am sure that in future, the number of our successes will only grow, Azerbaijan will strengthen the leadership status in the region and increase the ability to influence in the global political, economic, humanitarian and other processes.