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Ruling party marks 20th anniversary

21 November 2012 09:51 (UTC+04:00)
Ruling party marks 20th anniversary

By Nigar Orujova

Aliyev says no alternative to YAP

A solemn ceremony devoted to the 20th anniversary of the founding of Yeni (New) Azerbaijan Party (YAP), attended by its chairman, President Ilham Aliyev, and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva, was held last Friday in Baku.

"There is no alternative to the ruling party on Azerbaijan's political scene," President Aliyev said addressing the event, which took place at the Buta Palace.

The president praised the role and efforts of members of the ruling party, which he described as "the biggest political force in the South Caucasus". He said the party's members had always been committed to Azerbaijan's statehood, and had made an outstanding contribution to the country's achievements both in domestic and foreign policy.

President Aliyev stressed that more and more young people are joining the ranks of the party, which currently has a 600,000-strong membership.

Aliyev also spoke of YAP's history, saying it was founded at a very difficult time, which was marred by recession in all spheres of life, particularly economic and political chaos. The president said Azerbaijan's major setback in the early years of its independence was an unsuccessful war which broke out as a result of Armenia's aggression against the neighboring country.

"These circumstances necessitated the emergence of a new political force in Azerbaijan," President Aliyev said.

He noted that national leader, former President Heydar Aliyev held the Yeni Azerbaijan Party's founding conference in November 1992.

"One of the primary goals of the party was to restore political stability in Azerbaijan and extricate the country from a deep moral crisis. The Yeni Azerbaijan Party managed to win people's respect and admiration in a short period of time.

"Salvation came only with the return of the party's founder, national leader Heydar Aliyev to power in 1993 at the request of the people," the president said.

Aliyev said economic, political and democratic reforms launched by Heydar Aliyev were the main factors that stipulated Azerbaijan's development in the modern stage.

"One of the key priorities for the party at that time was building a new national ideology. The national leader outlined the main directions of this ideology, and said it is the philosophy of Azerbaijanism which is at the core of it."

"Young Azerbaijan's achievements in political, economic, humanitarian and other fields proved the rightness of this philosophy," the president noted.

Aliyev said that today Azerbaijan is among the most economically developed countries in the world, adding that "we are one of the exemplary countries in terms of political stability on a global scale".

Regarding the country's economic standing, the president noted that unemployment stands at 5.3 per cent and poverty at 7.6 per cent in Azerbaijan.

"The internationally respected rating agencies lower the credit ratings of developed countries and raise the rating of Azerbaijan. So, the Azerbaijani economy is competitive. On macroeconomic stability, Azerbaijan is ranked among top 10 countries in the world...This reality shows again that we have chosen the right way."

Aliyev said further that the increasing number of Azerbaijan's friends, its election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, the expansion of its investment opportunities abroad and Baku's hosting high-profile international events indicated the country's growing international image.

The president spoke about future plans, noting the approval of "Azerbaijan - 2020" program. "We will continue to develop as a modern state, import the most advanced technology to Azerbaijan. The Seventh Forum on Internet Governance held recently is an indicator in itself. There are all the freedoms in Azerbaijan - freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of press, freedom of the Internet," the president said.

President Aliyev expressed confidence that a bright future is in store for Azerbaijan.

"If we try to express our thoughts about the future in a single sentence, it must be said: we must become a developed country!" Aliyev stressed. "There are criteria for developed countries. We know them and have to meet these criteria in each direction - political, economic reform, social policy and other areas. To achieve this, our society, as always, should be persistent, while the leading political force of our society -- Yeni Azerbaijan Party -- must, of course, successfully do its work in the next 20 years on the basis of modern regulation and modern methods! We must work on strong historical and ideological foundations."

The president said Baku's position on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh remains unchanged.

"We have a strong backbone - our people, a rapidly developing economy, a perfect concept and programs."

"And I'm sure that being the leading political force of the society, the Yeni Azerbaijan Party will play a bigger role in the country's future development," Aliyev added.

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