Presidential election in Azerbaijan is 'triumph of democracy': President Aliyev

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has addressed the nation as initial results of the presidential election have been announced, AzerTAg state news agency reported.

The President thanked the people of Azerbaijan for putting their confidence in him.

"I assure the people of Azerbaijan that I will further serve the people with dignity, and protect the interests of the Azerbaijani state," Aliyev said.

"This election saw the people of Azerbaijan make their choice in a free, transparent manner. The presidential election in Azerbaijan is the triumph of democracy. All freedoms exist in Azerbaijan. Our country will further develop as a democratic state."

"The conduct of this election in a free, transparent manner is another serious step toward democracy. All freedoms are ensured in Azerbaijan: freedom of speech, freedom of press, political freedoms, freedom of conscience. Representatives of all nationalities, all religions live in Azerbaijan as one family, in an atmosphere of peace and good relations. This is our great advantage, great wealth. It`s no coincidence that today Azerbaijan has become a very important country in the world in terms of ethnic and religious tolerance."

"The people of Azerbaijan gave their assessment of what has been done in our country in the last ten years. These ten years saw the foundations of our statehood strengthen. Azerbaijan is a strong state, which pursues its independent policy. We have strong ideological foundations," the President said.

"Azerbaijan is of great importance in terms of settlement of global problems. Two years ago supported by the majority of the world community, Azerbaijan was elected to the UN Security Council, the supreme organization in the world, which we now chair."

President Ilham Aliyev highlighted the country`s economic achievements. "I can say that economic reforms carried out in Azerbaijan in the past 10 years, and their results are the most serious achievements on a global scale."

"Our economy has grown 3.4-fold in the last decade, while the level of poverty reduced approximately 10 times. This is the result of serious economic and social policy carried out in the country. This policy helped Azerbaijan considerably strengthen its economic potential."

"Economic power lets us protect our interests on an international level. Azerbaijan is playing its role in solving not only regional, but also global problems. And this role will further increase."

"According to ratings of the leading international economic organizations, Azerbaijan has been developing even when the rest of the world was his by the economic and financial crisis. Our economy was ranked among the top 40 economies of the world in terms of competitiveness."

"These achievements have been possible thanks to talent, work of the Azerbaijani people. I think that a well thought out policy, unity between the authorities and the people, as well as the people`s support of all our initiatives are the major condition for our successes."

The Head of State highlighted Azerbaijan`s energy policy, saying it is of profound significance not only to the region, but also the entire world.

"Today Azerbaijan is playing its role in the world as a modern, independent state, and we will have more capabilities.

"We have wide capabilities to influence regional processes. No political, economic initiative can become a reality in the region without Azerbaijan`s consent. These initiatives will have no future.

We are free, we are independent. Our destiny is in our own hands. Votes given to me in this election are given to independence, liberty, and happy future."

"I`m very much proud that all our initiatives have become a reality in the last few years. Ten years ago - in 2003 - I promised the people of Azerbaijan that if they put their confidence in me I will remain committed to policy of Heydar Aliyev. So having remained committed to this policy, we have done much to ensure Azerbaijan`s prosperity in the last decade."

"We look into the future with big hopes, and optimism. Our ten-year experience increases our confidence because we have made great achievements in all fields. Being a strong, developing country, which pursues its independent policy, Azerbaijan looks into the future with great optimism," Aliyev said.

The President said: "Our policy for the years to come is open, clear." "Azerbaijan will confidently move forward on the path toward development. Azerbaijan will cement its position on the international scale, and all international initiatives will protect the interests of the people of Azerbaijan."

"We will continue our firm policy in terms of development of democracy in Azerbaijan. The process of building a modern state will be continued. In the years to come we will combat negative elements, particularly corruption."

The Head of State said: "We will continue our policy in terms of development of entrepreneurship. We have concrete programs on all fronts - creating new jobs, reducing poverty and unemployment, and import replacement."

"In the years to come we will move forward in terms of economic reforms, social policy, energy policy, foreign policy. We will build a more powerful Azerbaijan, a stronger state, where each citizen will feel himself comfortable and live in peace and stability."

President Ilham Aliyev said: "Azerbaijan will further confidently develop. The Azerbaijan state and me as the President will protect the national interests of Azerbaijan, and ensure the people`s prosperity."

"Once again I would like to express my gratitude to you for supporting me in the past 10 years. Once again I assure you that I will try my best to work for the prosperity of our people, and the strengthening of our state. Together we will make big achievements," the President concluded.