President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijani Armed Forces has every capabilities to perform all tasks assigned to country (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 26 /Trend/
"I congratulate you on the Day of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. I wish the Armed Forces new successes. Today's military parade is devoted to the 20th anniversary of our independence. Azerbaijan, as an independent state, has passed a long and glorious path over these 20 years," Azerbaijani President and Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev said at grand military parade to mark 93rd anniversary of Armed Forces on Sunday.
President Aliyev said Azerbaijan has rapidly developed over these 20 years and today the country has very strong positions in the region. "Our country has made great strides in all areas, economic cooperation and addressing social issues. The process of military development has also successfully run in the country.
Today, Azerbaijan has a disciplined army. I often visit military units, familiarize with the situation and I can say with full responsibility that the Azerbaijani army is at the highest level today. Professionalism and fighting capacity of the army have increased. A high fighting spirit reigns in the Armed Forces. All this make us happy. The process of military development in Azerbaijan will further run successfully. Our army has every capabilities to perform all tasks assigned to the country," the Supreme Commander said.
President Aliyev emphasized that important issues aimed at strengthening the Azerbaijani Army's logistics and issues of the social protection of servicemen have been addressed. "With regards to social issues, the Azerbaijani state keeps these issues in the spotlight. Social and domestic problems of servicemen are addressed and their salary increased. According to the decree, which I signed yesterday, the salaries of servicemen and civilian employees of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry were increased by 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively," Aliyev said.
Most of our soldiers are young people, he said. "I am very pleased that our youth are brought up in a national-patriotic spirit. Our young people are our hope, they will govern the country in the future and I am very pleased that young people serving in the army are people loyal to the Motherland. We had losses, martyrs during the war and the ceasefire. We bow down before the martyrs who died for their country, for their land. God rest their souls! Martyrs do not die, they live forever in our hearts," President Aliyev said.
Tremendous work has been done to strengthen the Azerbaijani Army's logistics, he said. "Today's military parade will demonstrate just a small part of our military capabilities. We purchase modern weapons, ammunition, military equipment, and this process will continue. Our military capability has significantly increased over the recent years. We purchase the advanced fighter jets, combat and military- transport helicopters, artillery equipment, armored vehicles, communications equipment and unmanned aircrafts. The military strength of our army is growing. Moreover, the process of production of military products successfully runs in our country through the Azerbaijani Defense Industry Ministry created six years ago and we have made great strides in this area," he added.
Today, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces are also equipped through products of domestic industry. "Azerbaijan manufactures different kinds of weapons, ammunition, military equipment, and these achievements will be showcased at the parade. Patrons, weapons, ammunition, pistols, assault rifles, machine guns, mortars, sniper rifles, armored vehicles, unmanned aircraft - all of these are manufactured in Azerbaijan and at the highest level," Aliyev said.
The Azerbaijani military equipment, which is demonstrated at the international military exhibitions are highly estimated worldwide, he said. "In short, the Azerbaijani state takes its utmost to strengthen the military capability of our army. Our military expenditures are growing from year to year. Our military budget was $ 160 million in 2003, the figure was $2.15 billion in 2010 and it reached $3.3 in 2011. The goal, set several years ago, - to bring Azerbaijan's military expenses to the size of Armenia's state budget - has already been achieved. Today, Azerbaijan's military spending exceeds the entire budget of Armenia by 50 percent," Aliyev said.
Azerbaijan lives in a war state, Aliyev underscored.
"The war is not yet completed, only the first stage of the war is over. The country living in a war state should first focus on the military building. Today, the military expenditures occupy the first place in the Azerbaijani state budget and it will continue until our lands are liberated from the occupation. If a peace treaty is achieved, the occupation is ended, of course, any such costs may not need. At the same time, our army must at all times demonstrate a high level of training after that. We use all opportunities to strengthen and upgrade the logistics," he said.
President Aliyev said Azerbaijan is trying to resolve the biggest problem before the country - the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Twenty percent of the Azerbaijani territory is under occupation for a long, ethnic cleansing policy was pursued against the Azerbaijanis and more than one million Azerbaijanis became refugees and IDPs in their native land, Aliyev said.
"Unfortunately, this injustice still retain, despite the fact that Azerbaijan's territorial integrity is recognized by the international community and new statements made in recent years, decisions, resolutions of authoritative international organizations once again support Azerbaijan's territorial integrity. Despite all this, the question is not addressed. Four resolutions of the most authoritative organization of the world, the UN Security Council, have not yet been implemented. Similar decisions and resolutions of other international organizations also have not yet been implemented. Azerbaijan's territorial integrity must be restored. It was not and will not be subject to debate. We try, so that this issue has found an early solution within the framework of international law and Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, recognized by the international community, has been restored," President Aliyev said.
"Our cause is right. We have not occupied the territory of another country and do not claim for the land of other countries, despite the fact that the present-day Armenia is created on the historical Azerbaijani lands. Karabakh is Azerbaijan's native land, historical territory. It has always been so and today it is so. It was just temporarily occupied. But this occupation cannot last long. I am fully confident that Azerbaijan's territorial integrity will be restored in any way. We should be even stronger to achieve this. We will achieve the desired thanks to the changes in all areas of the country and strengthening the country's position in the region," he added.
He said Azerbaijan is an independent country for 20 years. "Our destiny is in our hands. The Azerbaijani people are architect of their own fortunes and over these 20 years, the Azerbaijani people have proved to the world that we can live and develop as an independent state. Azerbaijan is a worldwide leader in terms of economic development. All these achievements are reflected in the statistics. Our budget has grown 16-fold over the past seven years and exceeds Armenia's state budget by 10 times. The country's military expenditures increased by 20 times, poverty was reduced by five times and about a million new jobs were opened. Azerbaijan has created large industrial enterprises, the process of branching the country's economy successfully runs thanks to the ongoing economic reforms and a stable economy is being formed in Azerbaijan today. We have come a long way in addressing social issues, and we have the will and capacity to regulate the social protection issues. Today's realities in Azerbaijan are salaries, pensions and social benefits increasing from year to year, creation of social infrastructure and construction of more than 2,000 schools, hundreds of medical institutions, dozens of Olympic facilities," Aliyev underscored.
He said Azerbaijan has passed a long way over these 20 years. "The people's welfare improves, the country's economy improves and its international position strengthened. Today, Azerbaijan is recognized as an equal and reliable partner by the international community. Our position plays a crucial role in regional issues in many cases. Our initiatives are crucial in the realization of not only economic and infrastructure projects, our influence on the continent is gradually increasing, as well. We want to live as good neighbors with all our neighbors and we were able to achieve this. We build our relations with all countries on the basis of mutual interests and mutual respect, and we achieved great success in this business," he stressed.
Over the past 20 years. Azerbaijan's development is manifested in all spheres, in all directions. President Aliyev emphasized. "Our beautiful city, capital, ancient Baku is one of the most beautiful cities in the world today. Our regions become alive and develop. Construction and improvement work is underway throughout the country. Enthusiasm reigns in the society. People have a faith in today and the future of our country. Not only Azerbaijan, but the states cooperating with us believe in the bright future of our country. We have the economic power, and it is a reality. The economic strength allows us to take an independent position in all matters. Azerbaijan turned into an independent state during 20 years. We pursue an independent policy. This policy is based on the will of the Azerbaijani people. An Azerbaijani citizen stands in the core and focus of this policy. We must do our utmost to further strengthen the positive trends observed in our country in all directions. Much more remains to be implemented in subsequent years. Achievements over these 20 years, adherence to our policies and a solid foundation created in the country will allow us to remain as a strong and independent state for decades and centuries, pursue own policy, increase the prosperity of the Azerbaijani people and strengthen our country's position in the world. I am sure that this is how things will go, and we will achieve all goals set before us. In any case, a 20-year experience shows that we have always achieved and will continue to achieve the desired," Aliyev said.
"Today is a big celebration. Azerbaijan celebrates the Army Day. I want to reiterate that today's military parade is held in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the restoration of our independence. A strong state must have a strong army. Azerbaijan is a strong state, and Azerbaijan has a strong army. Glory to the Azerbaijani Armed Forces! Long live Azerbaijan!" President Aliyev stated.
Photo - Azerbaijani President's official website