Details added (first version posted on 15:54)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 20
Azerbaijani President’s Assistant for Public and Political Affairs Ali Hasanov has commented on a number of claims made against Azerbaijan in an edition of The Financial Times.
Hasanov said the claims made against Azerbaijan in the article titled “Is the Council of Europe giving up on human rights?” are subjective, biased and serve the nefarious interests of certain external anti-Azerbaijan circles.
"It can only be a source of regret that the FT and other such well-known publications, joining the smear campaign artificially organized by known circles, have made Azerbaijan a target and successively make unfounded accusations," said Hasanov.
The presidential assistant noted that Azerbaijan is known in the world as a country developing on the path of democracy, as a country possessing a strong economy, high international authority and providing all the freedoms, and as an area of stability, security and tolerance.
"The policy pursued by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev serves the national interests of the Azerbaijani people and has received the full support of the society. This is once again confirmed by studies conducted in Azerbaijan both by local companies and companies from the EU countries."
"It is no coincidence that according to the results of a survey conducted by the Dutch humanitarian partner organization ACT LLC at an order by the EU Eastern Partnership Program, 81 percent of Azerbaijani citizens support the policy pursued by the government," said the official.
"Naturally, this factor seriously worries Armenia, the Armenian lobby and its foreign patrons. These forces, using all possible means, try to tarnish the image of Azerbaijan, to form a negative opinion about it in the international community. The fact that such publications as the FT have become a tool in the hands of these circles is a serious drawback, which harms the independence of transnational media."
Hasanov added that such campaigns, organized against Azerbaijan at various intervals, have already been proven as futile and they are met with irony in the Azerbaijani society.
"The earlier the organizers and executors of these discrediting campaigns understand this reality, the more they will retain the limit of their authority," noted the Azerbaijani top official.