Baku, Azerbaijan, March 7
Azerbaijan’s First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva delivered a speech at a plenary session of the Azerbaijani parliament [Milli Majlis] on March 7.
“In connection with the appointment to a new post under the order signed by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on February 21, 2017, I stop my activity in the Milli Majlis of Azerbaijan,” said the first vice-president.
“I was a member of the parliament for more than ten years. It was great honor for me to be a member of parliament during these years,” noted Mehriban Aliyeva. Members of the Milli Majlis also have a great role in formation of Azerbaijan as an authoritative state during the years of independence, she added.
Mehriban Aliyeva went on to say that the legal basis of reforms ongoing in Azerbaijan is comprised of the bills, which have been prepared through joint work of parliament members and in line with modern realities and challenges.
“Dear colleagues, during the period of my work as a parliamentarian, I have witnessed a pleasant atmosphere here. Of course, there is a great merit of Chairman of the Milli Majlis Ogtay Asadov in the creation of such an atmosphere,” said Mrs. Aliyeva.
Noting that he has taken the position of the parliamentary chairman with dignity for over 10 years, Mrs. Aliyeva wished success to Ogtay Asadov in his future activity.
The first vice-president also briefed the parliament about the work that has been carried out since 2005 in the Khazar District, from where Mehriban Aliyeva’s candidacy as MP was put forward. She noted that during this period, 42 schools, 44 kindergartens, 16 orphanages and boarding schools, as well as summer camps for three orphanages have been either built or renovated in the district.
Seventeen health centers, 10 sports facilities, including six stadiums, 28 culture centers, including libraries, museums, seven mosques and shrines have been opened there, added the first vice-president.
She also stressed that gas and electricity supply to population in Khazar District’s Shuvalan, Bina, Turkan and Zira townships was improved.
“Water pipelines were laid in Shuvalan, Bina and Gala townships, and roads with a total length of 93 km were constructed in the district,” said Mehriban Aliyeva.
“Over these years, along with large-scale and long-term projects, I have accentuated on investigating into problems people face in daily lives. I have tried to support the people who addressed to me,” she said. “During all stages of my activity, I have felt the support of the district’s population. Our communication was not formal; it was always very sincere.”
“I can say with all confidence that all our achievements have been possible through our joint activity. I express my deep gratitude to everyone who supported me throughout these years, and I am sure that I will make every effort for development of the Khazar District in the future,” said Mrs. Aliyeva.
Mehriban Aliyeva stressed she had put forward a number of proposals while serving as an MP.
“The initiatives I made in 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2016 to adopt amnesty acts, based on ideas of humanism and justice, always saw the support of my colleagues. As a result, 39,887 convicts have been exempt from punishment in line with the announced amnesties,” she added.
Mehriban Aliyeva thanked the MPs who supported the amnesty initiatives giving freedom to ten thousands of people.
“I hope our parliamentarians will further put forward such initiatives and this good tradition will continue,” she noted.
Mrs. Aliyeva in her address also touched upon some issues of healthcare.
“As you know, healthcare is one of the priority areas in activity of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, which I lead. The Foundation’s ‘Life without Thalassemia’ program, implemented since 2005, has gained large scale in a short period of time. Upon our initiative the issue was put for discussion at the parliament, and in a short period of time Milli Majlis passed the ‘Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on State Care for the People Suffering from Heritable Blood Diseases – Hemophilia and Thalassemia’,” she said.
Mrs. Aliyeva reminded that the Thalassemia Center, built on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in Baku, is the only medical facility the region equipped with the most modern equipment making it possible to transfer bone marrow.
“Since the day the Center began to operate, more than 40 children have undergone bone marrow transplantation surgeries there,” she said.
Mehriban Aliyeva added that as a physician she is concerned over the spread of heritable blood diseases in Azerbaijan.
“With an aim of forming healthy families in Azerbaijan and decreasing the risks in this area, I made an initiative in 2014 calling for compulsory medical check-up of the persons intending to get married. After a thorough discussion with my colleagues, a law was passed to make corresponding changes to the Family Code,” she said.
During her address, Mehriban Aliyeva underlined that numerous events have been held at her initiative to make Azerbaijan known throughout the world as a multi-national, tolerant and multi-confessional country.
The first vice-president noted that in all of her speeches she speaks about the occupation of 20 percent of lands of Azerbaijan – its integral part Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts – and the life of more than one million Azerbaijanis as refugees and IDPs.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s publications about the Khojaly tragedy have been disseminated throughout the world, she said.
“Dear colleagues, I appreciate my 12-year activity in the Milli Majlis as a big school of life,” said Mrs. Aliyeva. “The experience I have gained as an MP is irreplaceable. Regardless of my position or directions of my activity, I have always relied on simple principles in life. I have tried to never forget that conscience and dignity, compassion and goodwill, justice and mutual respect are the paramount and the most beautiful features given to a human by God.”
“From this high tribune I would like to assure each person believing in me that I will further hold moral values high in my future activity, I will make every effort for protection of Azerbaijan’s independence and comprehensive development of our country,” said Mehriban Aliyeva.
The first vice-president stressed that she has been receiving numerous congratulatory letters from Azerbaijanis in recent days.
Mehriban Aliyeva added that each letter and congratulation from ordinary people is valuable for her.
She expressed her deep gratitude to those who support her and send sincere wishes.
Mehriban Aliyeva also congratulated her female colleagues represented in the parliament and all Azerbaijani women on the occasion of the upcoming March 8 – International Women’s Day.
She wished them robust health, happiness and success in their endeavors. The first vice-president also expressed her deep gratitude to them for joint actions during past years and said she hopes their cooperation will continue in the future.
“God bless Azerbaijan! Thank you for your attention!” added Mehriban Aliyeva.
Afterwards, members of the Azerbaijani parliament delivered speeches and the first vice-president thanked them for warm remarks and high appreciation.
Mehriban Aliyeva expressed confidence that a strong and reliable team, consisting of people of the same opinion and intention, stands behind every victory, every major achievement.
She noted that after being appointed as the first vice-president, she is well aware of the entrusted responsibility, and of course, she feels excited.
“However, I am optimistic about the future, because I have colleagues like you. There are thousands of our compatriots supporting me; our country has a skilful, courageous, intelligent president in the face of Ilham Aliyev, who at the same time has the highest human qualities,” said Mehriban Aliyeva.
“I am confident we will further do our best together, as a team, for the future of Azerbaijan, for future development of Azerbaijan, for strengthening of our independence,” added the First Vice-President.