President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today presided over a meeting of the Cabinet to discuss outcomes of the socio-economic development in the first half of 2011, AzTV state television reported.
"Social and economic problems facing the country have been solved in the first half of 2011," said President Ilham Aliyev in his remarks, adding GDP grew by 0.9%. He attributed low GDP growth in comparison with previous years to the fall in oil production.
"Our major objective is to develop the non-oil sector and diversify the economy," said the Head of State. He pointed out this sector surged 7.2%, agriculture 6.2%.
On the social matters, the President noted pensions shot up 40%.
"An Azerbaijani citizen is in the center of our policy," he said. President Aliyev noted implementation of the state program on socio-economic development of regions has created 38 thousand new jobs in the past six months.
On the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, President Ilham Aliyev branded the statement of the Heads of OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries as `hopeful`.
"This statement is based on Helsinki Final Act and underlines the change in status-quo. In this case, occupied Azerbaijani lands must be freed," said the Head of State. He underscored Armenia has not wanted to change the status quo over the past 20 years. According to the Azerbaijani leader, co-chairs stepped up their activity. Azerbaijan accepted Madrid principles at a Sochi meeting initiated by the Russian President while Armenia refuses to do so. On the essence of the Madrid principles, President Ilham Aliyev pointed out the new situation emerged and Azerbaijan once again showed its constructiveness.
Despite the attitude of the whole world, European organizations, in particular, co-chair countries to this issue, Armenia`s moves are not understandable and statements of the Armenian leadership run counter to the spirit of talks.
"The strong Azerbaijani state and army are one of the major reasons behind activity of international community in recent years," said the President.
Following opening remarks by the President, Tax Minister Fazil Mammadov, Baku Mayor Hajibala Abutalybov, Minister of Communication and Information Technologies Ali Abbasov, "Azersu" OJSC Chairman Gorkhmaz Huseynov reported on the socio-economic development processes in the past six months.
In his closing remarks, President Ilham Aliyev touched upon construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, macroeconomic stability, socio-economic development of Baku and surrounding settlements
He noted a new terminal of the Heydar Aliyev international airport is being built and an international airport would be put into operation in Gabala. He said the biggest trade seaport in the Caspian basin and shipyard are under construction in Alat.
He noted military spending in the country reached 3.3 billion dollars.
The Head of State highlighted the need to create industrial centers, develop ICT sector and tourism, construct village roads, solve sanitation problems and provide drinking water without interruptions to the population.
Photo - The official website of the President of Azerbaijan