Ilham Aliyev says program on regional development is successful step (PHOTO) (UPDATE)

Details added (first version posted on 12:57)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26


Realization of the state program on socio-economic development of regions in Azerbaijan is a successful step, said President Ilham Aliyev.

The president made the remarks at the conference dedicated to the results of the second year of implementation of "State program on socio-economic development of districts of Azerbaijan Republic in 2014-2018".

President Aliyev said the third program was adopted in 2014 and is being successfully implemented.

"Each year we discuss the implementation of this program, and define the directions for further activity," he said.

The president said that when the first program was adopted in 2004, there was a task to develop the regions of Azerbaijan rapidly.

"It is necessary to implement infrastructure projects in districts, to create jobs and social enterprises to make the development of the country comprehensive and sustainable," President Aliyev said.

The head of state said the economic crisis intensified even more in the world in 2015.

"The world economy is yet unable to get out of the crisis," said the president. "Having recently participated at the Davos World Economic Forum, I again witnessed that the global economy will remain in a difficult situation for now."

The president noted that despite the crisis, many issues were solved in Azerbaijan in 2015.

"All the tasks outlined since the beginning of the year have been fulfilled," he said. "It is indeed our great success, given uneasy geopolitical situation and the global economic crisis. That's because bloody clashes, wars continue in our region, and new hotbeds of confrontation are being created."

"The people who have lost their homes, loved ones and property, headed to Europe, and what awaits them there -- all happens in the eyes of everyone," he said. "Unfortunately, migration crisis exacerbates Europe's radical forces. It is the greatest danger for Europe, for us, and for the entire world."

He added that Azerbaijan has been playing its role in strengthening the dialogue between civilizations for many years.

Unfortunately, confrontation, misunderstanding, and strife are observed on a global scale instead of dialogue, Aliyev said. "This is the present economic and geopolitical situation."

The president voiced concerns in connection with the situation ongoing in the region and the world. "We have to work even harder. We need to successfully carry out our policy and fulfill all the tasks facing the country. I believe that Azerbaijan was able to maintain the dynamics of successful development in all areas in 2015," he added.

The president said the country's international prestige has greatly boosted.

"Last year, I made 20 official and business visits abroad," Aliyev said. "Heads of more than 15 foreign countries and governments visited Azerbaijan, which is a progress itself. It shows that Azerbaijan plays a very active role in the international arena, and there is a great respect for Azerbaijan in the world. I see it every time I travel abroad. This time, taking part in the Davos forum, I once again saw a great favor and respect towards the policy, the position, principle stand of our country, and towards the achievements."

"We successfully continue cooperation with international organizations," said the president. "We strengthen activity within the framework of organizations, where we hold membership. We have established relationships based on mutual respect with all other organizations and we want to deepen these relationships. I believe that our activity with international organizations will be carried out more rapidly in 2016."

Socio-political stability is maintained and ensured in Azerbaijan, and the main reason for that is the unity of the government and the people, said the president.

"That's because our policy protects the interests of the Azerbaijani people," said the president of Azerbaijan. "For me, interests of the Azerbaijani people and the Azerbaijani state are above all."

President Aliyev said that the essence and goal of all the work being carried out is to create an even more powerful state, create even better conditions for the people of Azerbaijan to live and develop in welfare and security.

"Therefore, ensuring public and political stability is natural in Azerbaijan," said President Aliyev. "I would like to reiterate that this reality is ensured by national solidarity, cohesion of our people around one idea and thought-out policy, achievements, despite the fact that the situation is aggravated in the surrounding regions and many countries of the world, and internal conflicts occur. In such a situation, of course, the example of Azerbaijan is very important for the world."

The president went on to add that Azerbaijan's experience is studied in many places abroad.

The president said important steps on democratic development were made last year.

"Azerbaijan is confidently going through the path of democracy," he said. "This is our deliberate choice. I am fully confident that the fundamental economic reforms and economic development cannot be achieved in isolation from the democratic processes. Therefore, political and economic reforms in Azerbaijan are held, and will be held simultaneously."

Aliyev went on to add that the parliamentary election at the end of last year proved once again how much the country is faithful to democracy.

"According to all participating observers, the parliamentary election [in the country] was transparent and fair, the will and desire of the Azerbaijani people were fully provided," he said.

"The election results are a very big support for the policy that we pursued in recent years. That's how I perceive the results of this election. The people of Azerbaijan once again showed its great support for our policy."

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