Azerbaijan, Baku, July 4 / Trend S.Ahmadova /
Azerbaijan has implemented many reforms and it is governed by democratic principals, Deputy Head of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Head of the Foreign Relations Department, Novruz Mammadov said at a conference on "Shaping the Policy Agenda: British-Azerbaijani relations in the context of Europe" of the Center for Strategic Studies under the Azerbaijani President in London today, the Center for Strategic Studies reported.
"Azerbaijan is working on building the civil society and ensuring the democratic development," he said.
"More than 50 political parties have the opportunity to participate in the political life of the country through representation in the legislative and local municipal bodies," Mammadov added. "Azerbaijan has managed to build an ideal and tolerant society which can be exemplary for all world countries and even for Europe."
"We take it normal to be criticized," he added. "Only a fair criticism can serve the co-operation and allow overcoming various threats and challenges. Nevertheless, we think that the criticism should not be biased and unfair."
"Human rights and democracy are kept simply in the context of authorities and opposition," he said. "But, what about the rights of refugees and IDPs or do they not deserve the protection?"
"The position voted in the European Parliament with the participation of 15-20 members is presented as the resolution of the Parliament with total number of 754 members," Mammadov said. "As a result, the right of absolute majority of members of the European Parliament is misused."
"This contradicts the principles of democracy," he added. "The statistics show that the number of critical reports about Azerbaijan, which appeared in the British press within 3 months in relation to the criminal actions of two young Azerbaijanis that present themselves as bloggers, is more than the general number of articles written about the Karabakh problem in last 20 years."
"Choosing the pathway of close co-operation and integration with Europe since first years of its independence, the Republic of Azerbaijan has managed to implement large projects of strategic importance and become the political, economic, cultural, energy and transportation bridge between East and West by addressing all challenges and facing firmly strong pressure," Mammadov said.
"Taking this into account, it is hard to accept the attitude of West to Azerbaijan as a fair, well thought and substantiated position from political, economic, cultural, religious, geopolitical and other points of view," he said.
"The co-operation with EU and NATO should be noted in particular," Mammadov said. "It has contributed to peacekeeping operations in Kosovo and Iraq within international coalition."
"Azerbaijan participates in the processes of Afghanistan both by its military contingent and other means through providing training and assistance in various projects," he said. "Today, more, than one third of goods delivered to Afghanistan pass through Azerbaijan."
"Global ongoing processes already demonstrate that Azerbaijan as a country will further increase its importance in the decades to come," Mammadov said.