Top official: Azerbaijan became central country of region (UPDATE 2)

Top official: Azerbaijan became central country of region (UPDATE 2)

Details added (first version posted on 13:52)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 13

By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:

Azerbaijan has become a central country in the region and has hosted international events covering various areas, said Ali Hasanov, Azerbaijani president's aide for public and political affairs.

He made the remarks Nov. 13 at an event dedicated to presentation of "Discover Azerbaijan: Baku-2015" book.

Hasanov said that today, Azerbaijan is known as a reputable country pursuing an independent policy on international arena, prominent for its principal stance, and as a country making contributions to settlement of universal problems.

He further said the members of all religions and ethnic groups in Azerbaijan live in peace and prosperity as one family, and they contribute to the country's successful development.

"Azerbaijan is known throughout the world as an area of national and religious tolerance," he added

Further, the presidential aide pointed out that Azerbaijan's economy has more than tripled over the last ten years, the unemployment and poverty level has dropped to five percent, the social and economic structure has been rebuilt and the population's welfare has significantly improved.

He said that a 9-10 percent growth is observed in the country's non-oil sector every year, adding that the share of the non-oil sector in GDP has exceeded 50 percent over several years and reached 70 percent in H1 2015.

"This shows the diversification of Azerbaijan's economy and the gradual decrease of dependence on the oil factor," said Hasanov.

"Azerbaijan plays an active role in creating transport corridors, forming modern transport infrastructure in the region and has already turned into one of the transport and logistics centers of the region," he added.

The highest standards of the European Games were set namely in Azerbaijan, according to the top official.

He said Baku has become one of the most beautiful cities in the world in terms of its look and modern social and cultural infrastructure, adding that tourism infrastructure has developed in Azerbaijan's regions.

Hasanov noted that the "Discover Azerbaijan: Baku-2015" book highlights Azerbaijan's modern development.

"Becoming a real chronicle of Azerbaijan's modern development, this book not only covers the sports events, but also all spheres of the country's modern development," he said.

Hasanov said the book begins with an Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's interview, which concisely presents virtually all the areas of modern development in Azerbaijan.

"The president spoke about Azerbaijan's achievements in past 20 years, diversification of economy, development of non-oil sector, business environment, building a modern society, preserving and developing national spiritual and cultural heritage of Azerbaijani people, role of the First European Games in history of Azerbaijani sport, development of sport in Europe, and other aspects," said Hasanov.

He further said the book included a wide analysis of Azerbaijan's successful oil strategy, which was authored by national leader Heydar Aliyev, as well as the significance of various important transnational energy projects in the region's development, and in ensuring the energy security of the region and Europe.

"The Contract of the Century, signed in 1994, was of great importance for the independent development of Azerbaijan, and implementation of such transnational projects as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipelines has played an exceptional role in taking the country's energy resources to world market, developing the country, and strengthening international economic and political ties," he stressed.

Hasanov also said the book included extensive information about the policy pursued during the last 12 years under leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, and the reconstruction of the country's social, economic and cultural infrastructure in line with world's leading standards.

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