Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 18 / Trend /
An official reception to mark the 20th anniversary of restoration of the independence of Azerbaijan has been held today in Buta Palace.
President of Azerbaijan
Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva attended the reception.
The Head of State and First Lady were warmly welcomed by the participants.
The national anthem of Azerbaijan was performed.
President Ilham Aliyev made a speech at the event.
"I sincerely congratulate you and the Azerbaijani people with the 20th anniversary of the restoration of our independence. We have celebrated this great event throughout the year. I have signed a corresponding resolution in January 2011 on the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the restoration of our state independence, and various activities to mark the anniversary of our independence have been conducted in Azerbaijan and abroad throughout the year. This is a really great holiday. Azerbaijan passed a long and successful way for 20 years of independent," he said.
Unfortunately, President Aliyev said, the country has failed to undergo these ordeals with honor in the first years of independence.
"When the situation in the country has reached an unbearable limit in 1993, the Azerbaijanis people turned to Heydar Aliyev. The Azerbaijani people saw salvation and future only in Heydar Aliyev, and this attitude, such thoughts, of course, had a very great bases. First, stability was restored and illegal armed groups were disarmed. Very valuable initiatives were put forward in the economic sphere and, most importantly, it was the right choice for Azerbaijan's strategic development. Azerbaijan had had to develop as a modern, secular country, as a country integrating into the international community and committed to the principles of market economy, democratic country. This Azerbaijani people made this strategic choice in 1993 under Heydar Aliyev's leadership. Since then, Azerbaijan is making good progress on the path of development," he stated.
Aliyev highlighted that Heydar Aliyev's policy continues in all areas today.
"I am committed to this policy from that day, when the Azerbaijani people showing a great confidence elected me as President in 2003, and to this day. I will be faithful to that policy. Of course, the country still faces challenges, and it is natural. But these problems are solved, and most importantly, we have developed programs to address them. These programs cover all areas. Political reforms, democratization process successfully run in Azerbaijan. There are specific programs in the economic sphere on regional development, realization of infrastructure projects and conceptual approaches related to foreign policy. Our policy shows that it is very successful. Sometimes this policy is called multi-vector or a balanced policy. I belive it is an independent policy, policy of good will, policy of protecting Azerbaijan's interests," President Aliyev said.
Unfortunately, the Azerbaijani lands are under occupation now due to mistakes made in the first years of our independence, in some cases due to incompetence and in some - betrayal, the President said.
"Today, we aim to eliminate this injustice and restore our territorial integrity. We are now in negations and will continue to negotiate. But, unfortunately, negotiations do not give results," Aliyev said.
President Aliyev expressed confidence that this issue will find its just solution in accordance with international law, and Azerbaijan will restore its territorial integrity.
"There are enough grounds to state this. In addition to the historical and legal factors, the ratio of real power is already evidence of Azerbaijan's superiority. The economic potential is unequaled. Following 20 years of independence, Azerbaijan's economy makes up 83 percent of the South Caucasus economy. Thanks to measures to be taken in the future, and upcoming reforms, this figure will further grow, not diminish but increase," he underlined.
President Aliyev stated that much has been done on the development and creation in all areas over these 20 years.
"The main thing is that for 20 years, Azerbaijan has been able to achieve recognition in the region and the world as a reliable partner, as a dynamic, friendly country. Azerbaijan made friends in the world thanks to its policy of good will. The number of our partners wishing to establishing good relations with Azerbaijan increase. We are also interested in this. We pursue a policy of good will in all areas. We stand for cooperation. We put forward proposals for cooperation. If necessary, we spare no efforts in assisting the cooperation. We can already give such examples. Azerbaijan have repeatedly hold out the olive branch to its partners in the crucial moments and we will continue this policy," he stated.
Aliyen underscored that Azerbaijan is building a modern state.
"We are building a modern state on the strong tradition, strong values, national and spiritual values, and we are building it successfully. Today, Azerbaijan has been showved in some circles as a model country. That is an assessment of Azerbaijan's successes. But at the same time, it increases our responsibility," he noted.
"Azerbaijan's policy, our vision for the future, our strategy, our unity" lie in the core of the successes, Aliyev stated.
"During these 20 years, the Azerbaijani people showed civic solidarity. The Azerbaijani people showed how a great nation it is. We have made great strides for 20 years. I believe we will multiply these successes in future, we will work hard for the full development of our country , create a more powerful and beautiful country," President Ilham Aliyev said.
Then, the participants saw a documentary featuring accomplishments achieved in Azerbaijan over the past 20 years.
The reception continued with a concert program.