President Aliyev: Respect for national traditions makes us much stronger (PHOTO)

President Aliyev: Respect for national traditions makes us much stronger (PHOTO)

Azerbaijan, Baku, March 20 / Trend /

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva attended nationwide Novruz festivities on Monday.

The Head of State and his spouse were warmly welcomed near the Maiden Tower by thousands of people who gathered here for the celebrations.

Children in national costumes presented a festive sweets tray to the Azerbaijani President and his wife. Children congratulated President Aliyev and his spouse with the holiday.

Soldiers with swords and shields lined up near Old city (Icheri Sheher) walls and the square as a reminder of our ancient history.

Dede Gorgud gave his blessing, by wishing this Spring Festival to bring an abundance to Azerbaijani people.

Children danced in national costumes on the square. The songs performed by artists glorifying spring and Azerbaijan were heard. The participants had a good mood.

President Aliyev lit a bonfire.

The President delivered a speech at the festivity.

"Novruz is one of the most favourite holidays of Azerbaijani people," the president said.

"Azerbaijanis are committed to their national and spiritual values," he added. "Our country is built on these values," the President said. "The country's attitude to these national values, respect for national traditions have made it even stronger for twenty years. Azerbaijan is building its future today on this powerful national foundation."

"Afterwards, as an independent country, Azerbaijan will follow the way of development," he added. "The success achieved for twenty years, give grounds to say that the country will continue developing and Azerbaijan will achieve even greater heights on a global scale."

"The country was elected to the UN Security Council - the most authoritative global organization in October 2011," he added. "I can say that this was the logical result of our 20 year-independent life and successful policy."

"About 155 countries' confidence to Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan's very active protection are our great success and Azerbaijan's great achievement," he underlined. "The country has already begun working actively in the UN. As I stressed earlier, the country will continue defending justice in the UN Security Council. There is a big need for it in the world. The country will protect the international law, as international law sometimes does not work. The norms of international law are being violated. Azerbaijan will demonstrate its experience from this point of view."

"The resolutions of the UN Security Council have not been fulfilled for nearly 20 years," he stressed. "This injustice continues today. Our native lands - Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent regions must be liberated from the occupying forces. Azerbaijan's territorial integrity recognized by the international community must be restored. The country will not allow creating the second far-fetched Armenian state in the Azerbaijani territory. Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, sovereignty must be and will be restored."

"Today, all the possibilities and horizons are opened for the country," he stressed. "Azerbaijan has strong international positions. The domestic policy is stable. Socio-political situation is very good. The country implements large-scale social programs. The average pension of about 900,000 pensioners was increased by about 40 percent 2011. The average pension hits 40 percent of the average salary in Azerbaijan today. This result is inherent in the developed countries."

"The relevant order has been recently signed to return deposits made in Soviet times," he added. "This is a very serious political step, as independent Azerbaijan from the legal point of view undertakes no obligation to return former deposits. But I thought it would be fair. The state budget envisages a large sum for us to achieve the return of all deposits by late 2013. The country's economy has increased by 3 times, and the budget - by nearly 15 times for the last eight years. Today our country has a strong economy. We have big foreign exchange reserves. We live at our own expense and depend on nobody. Conversely, by implementing our new economic strategy, we began delivering loans to foreign countries."

"Today, Azerbaijan acts in the implementation of energy and transport projects in the region," he said. "The projects implemented upon our initiative are significant not only for the region, but also for Europe and the world. Azerbaijanis know this and the country's power. Azerbaijanis also know that without taking into account Azerbaijan's interests in the region, no project can be successfully implemented."

"The country conduct a policy of good will," the President emphasized. "It also builds relations on the basis of mutual benefit and respect with other countries. "It does not interfere in each other's affairs. This is a fair and logical position. The country does not interfere in the internal affairs of any country. Of course, Azerbaijan will never allow anyone to interfere in its internal affairs. Despite the attempts, it is not ruled that they will occur in the future. Although Azerbaijan's successful development and strong will must decrease these efforts. I hope that it will be so."

President and his spouse joined festivities at the Seaside National Park.

Novruz personages Kosa and Kechal met President Aliyev and his spouse.

Kosa and Kechal congratulated the President and his wife with the holiday and compete in the breaking of eggs with the head of state.

Special interest was paid to the performances of amateur groups representing Azerbaijani various regions.

The Head of State and his spouse listened to mugham singers.

"Eastern market" organized in the National Park gave special significance to the festivities. The handicrafts produced in different regions of the country were demonstrated.

The gifts were presented to the President and his spouse. Young wrestlers competed on the carpet nearby and athletes demonstrated their power.

President Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and other members of the festivities were watching these scenes and samples of folk crafts with interest.

The President and his souse got acquainted with the festivities organized within the exhibition of products grown on the Azerbaijani fertile land.

Azerbaijani President and his spouse tasted the pilaf cooked here. A variety of sweets - Novruz symbols were also presented at the ceremony, where the ancient folk art, inherited by the present generation from our ancestors was demonstrated. President Aliyev and his spouse drank tea with sweets.

They saw ancient handicrafts and products grown in the country as well as works by young artists, designers and craftsmen.

Masters of arts, meykhana and naghara singers, ashugs, tightrope walkers demonstrated the customs and traditions, the ancient art of our people.

Food products grown and produced in Azerbaijani different regions were also demonstrated on "Eastern market" organized in the National Park. This exhibition once more confirmed that the Azerbaijani President's orders are being successfully implemented to ensure food security in the country.

The participants were watching the exercises performed by members of the Azerbaijani Arm Wrestling Federation. President Aliyev and his spouse took photos with fighters.

Spring girl presented a festive sweets tray to President Aliyev and his spouse.

The dishes of Novruz cuisine, brought from different regions, caused the participants' interest.

The first ticket for the upcoming under-17 girls' World Cup match was also presented to President Aliyev during the festivity organized in the Seaside National Park.

The President was also informed about the sale of tickets for the championship matches. It was stressed that an online ticket sale for a representative competition will be launched from April 16. The competition will start at the Republican Tofik Bakhramov stadium on September 22 this year.

President of Azerbaijan and his spouse signed the application file to the International Olympic Committee as part of the campaign to support Baku`s bid to host 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

Then, President Aliyev and his spouse admired the city from the Seaside National Park.

The President expressed best wishes on the occasion of Novruz holiday to Baku residents and guests.

Participants in the celebrations included Prime Minister Artur Rasizade, Speaker of the Milli Majlis Ogtay Asadov and Head of the Presidential Administration Ramiz Mehdiyev, and other top-ranking officials.

The festivities continued late at the night with interesting concert program with participation of folk artists.

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