A program dedicated to Ilham Aliyev, “Formula of power”, was shown on “Russia” State Television Chann
23 december 2011, 23:00
A program dedicated to Ilham Aliyev, “Formula of power”, has been shown on “Russia” State Television Channel. Azertag has released the full transcript of the program.
President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan is the first country of the Muslim world to have created a democratic republic. It was the first country to have formed a democratic parliament. It was the first republic to have given women the right to vote. In other words, the tradition of modernity and enlightenment has deep roots in our country. And this is the foundation on which we are building a modern state. I see our country as a modern, democratic and law-governed state with a very strong social policy, economic development and strong positions in the region. Most of what I have said has already been achieved.
From the author: Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev. Born in Baku on 24 December 1961. In 1982, graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations. From 1994 to 2003 worked as Vice-President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan.
On 4 August 2003 was appointed as Prime Minister of Azerbaijan. On 15 October 2003 was elected President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Mikhail Gusman: Azerbaijan’s progress is very impressive - in industry, economy, agriculture, on the international arena. What, in your opinion, has been the key to this success?
President Ilham Aliyev: When I took office as President, in fact even earlier, before the election, I announced that if I was given the confidence of the people, I would continue my father's policies which took Azerbaijan out of a series of chaotic events, disruption and a practical collapse. With regard to the important decisions that were taken, I would point out to those that have had an impact on Azerbaijan’s the strategic development. First of all, it was the program on the development of districts. It was one of my first major policy steps and initiatives, because it was clear that the disproportion between the capital and the districts must be reduced and completely eliminated.
From the author: Over the last eight years Azerbaijan’s economy has grown by 300 per cent, industrial production by 300 per cent, and 950,000 jobs have been created.
President Ilham Aliyev: And as soon as the process of rapid growth began, the inertial force switched on. In other words, new initiatives from the ground started to emerge. A unique spirit of creativity appeared in society, the public impulse that helps us a lot.
Mehriban Aliyeva: This connection between a man, a politician, the leader of a country and the people is compelling, it is obvious. So I think we can certainly talk about the trips to the districts, Ilham’s constant, almost permanent contact with people of different professions. The sincerity, the love they emanate for him cannot be imitated. This is an absolutely sincere feeling.
From the author: 2011. Azerbaijan… The GDP per capita is $6,000, population incomes have risen by 19 per cent, the pension accounts for 40 per cent of the average wage.
Mikhail Gusman: Azerbaijan has recently been elected a nonpermanent member of the Security Council. What do you see as Azerbaijan’s tasks and opportunities as a nonpermanent member of the Security Council?
President Ilham Aliyev: This victory has been one of the most and perhaps the most important and significant victory in the history of independent Azerbaijan. This victory is a reflection of everything we have done at home and abroad. Over 20 years of independence we have achieved the fact that 155 countries supported our candidacy. Our membership in the Security Council will have a practical effect. And not only for the interests of our country, including the most complex and difficult issue for us, the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement. Of course, we will always keep this topic in the spotlight at the Security Council. But we also will strive to contribute to the strengthening of peace, security and cooperation.
Mikhail Gusman: You have mentioned, as I understand, the most painful problem, the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh. A complex knot of political problems. Do you think it this is a knot that you can untie by pulling at the ends of its threads one by one or is it the Gordian knot that can only be cut?
President Ilham Aliyev: In your question you have correctly identified the paths that exist. They are really only two. Solution options lie in the plane of international law. The implementation of resolutions of the UN Security Council, where we will now participate, must be ensured. There are four such resolutions. They all demand the same thing: restoration of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity. This is our sovereign right, just as it is our right to restore the territorial integrity of our state not politically but, speaking quite frankly, by military means. We also have this right in line with the UN Charter. We simply don’t want to resort to it.
Mikhail Gusman: You travel around the country a lot. I think you visit one district a week. I understand that this policy is facilitated by oil revenues. This is obvious. And yet, what is the main goal today?
President Ilham Aliyev: Of course, the oil factor has helped us a lot. But it is also our achievement. After all, many countries have oil. In fact, many have much more oil than we do. But the correct use of resources, the equitable distribution of national wealth and complete transparency in spending and accumulation of the funds have enabled us to a create situation when our exchange reserves grow by the year. Over eight years, the rate of poverty dropped five times – from 49 to nine per cent . Next year we will launch our first telecommunications satellite. We are creating a space industry. So we look much further than some might expect.
From the author: 2011… Azerbaijan’s currency reserves grew by 11 billion to exceed $40 billion. The oil economy grew by 8.2 per cent and agriculture by 7.8 per cent.
Mikhail Gusman: Azerbaijan has celebrated the 20th anniversary of its independence by a great success in Eurovision...
President Ilham Aliyev: This means the whole of Europe voted for us. Almost the entire Europe. And we won with a huge margin. Of course, this is a victory of our singers. But at the same time, we see it as a much broader victory. And such victories certainly consolidate us.
Mehriban Aliyeva: There was a live broadcast, they were showing the streets of Baku. And not just young people, but people of completely different ages. They were out on the streets with banners, flags, their eyes radiated happiness.
Now we have reached the top, we are winners. But this does not mean that we should stop. Now we are preparing to host Eurovision-2012 in Baku.
President Ilham Aliyev: I would also point to victories in sports. Every victory of our athletes becomes a great national holiday. We have Olympic and world champions. Every sporting victory creates a positive and emotional impulse in our society.
Leyla Aliyeva: It is amazing how jubilant he is over our victories in any competition, and how upset he is when we lose... I think that even the athletes don’t get so disappointed.
President Ilham Aliyev: No less important are the victories I have spoken about – daily, weekly and monthly. A new road, a new school, an artificial satellite, a new gas pipeline, etc.
Mikhail Gusman: I have a small file here. I don’t think you have ever seen it, although it is entirely dedicated to you. It is the personal file of student Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev. I do not believe you have ever seen it.
President Ilham Aliyev: This is a secret document.
Mikhail Gusman: It has many interesting documents, memos, comments. Well, as you know, professors at Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO) were arranging for special certification of students after each course. In short, you were always praised. But in the first year, I have noticed, your teachers complained that you used to skip classes. The grades were good, but you skipped classes. So I have a simple question. Why did student Ilham Aliyev skip classes at MGIMO in Moscow, the old building of it?
President Ilham Aliyev: But as you have said, this was only the case in the first year.
Mikhail Gusman: In the second year it was better. This is correct – it is all registered here. These are official documents, stamps, signatures and names of teachers.
President Ilham Aliyev: I think it was quite natural for a young man who had studied 10 years in Baku, after getting into a different environment and such a beautiful and big city as Moscow, especially in the first year, to spend most of his time on sightseeing. But since you said that it was happening in the old building of MGIMO, you can probably guess where I went. Right across the street, as you may recall, there is Gorky Park. This is where my friends and I used to go...
Mikhail Gusman: So was this your favorite place in Moscow.
President Ilham Aliyev: Well, it was the closest place to the university …
Mikhail Gusman: To run from classes to?
President Ilham Aliyev: To run to and come back.
Mikhail Gusman: You know, I asked you this question for a reason – I was sure you haven’t forgotten your youth. Of course, the present generation is different. What are the pros and cons of the current younger generation if you compare it with your own youth?
President Ilham Aliyev: I think that the present-day youth is, of course, more independent, perhaps more motivated and more professional. From what is going on in our country, I can see that young people have a huge desire to succeed and an understanding that this is only possible with a good education. I am very pleased that our young people are very attached to their roots. Despite globalization and the new trends, most of them listen to Azerbaijani music.
Mehriban Aliyeva: Mugham invariably arouses a special interest. Because it is really spiritualistic music. There is a spirit to it that is difficult to explain – the spirit of the people, the spirit of history, the spirit of tradition. We have started to conduct Mugham concerts, Mugham contests, and more and more young people have become interested in this music.
Mikhail Gusman: Do you recognize this file?
President Ilham Aliyev: No.
Mikhail Gusman: It is your thesis. This is the review of it. The thesis is dedicated to the anti-war movement in the UK at the modern stage and the attitude of political parties to it.
President Ilham Aliyev: I remember the name.
Mikhail Gusman: In this regard, I have a question related to foreign policy, to which, I understand, you are professionally close. Of course, Azerbaijan occupies a unique geopolitical location. How do geopolitical factors influence your policy?
President Ilham Aliyev: Of course, we are part of the region. And the processes ongoing in the region affect us, whether we like it or not. But my job as President is to minimize the impact of negative developments on Azerbaijan and, on the contrary, maximize Azerbaijan’s ability of influencing regional developments. As for the economy, Azerbaijan accounts for 83 per cent of the entire South Caucasus economy. In the future it will only grow. Today, not a single project can be implemented in the region without the participation of Azerbaijan: be it energy, transport or foreign political project.
Mikhail Gusman: Russia is Azerbaijan’s neighbor. You have developed a certain political contact, a professional contact with both former Russian President Vladimir Putin and the incumbent President Dmitry Medvedev. You have what is called the “personal chemistry”, as they say at the MGIMO. How do you foresee the prospects for cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan? Are there any weaknesses or untied knots there? On the other hand, what are the prospects for this development?
President Ilham Aliyev: The prospects seem very positive to me. As you have noted, I have a very close interaction and contact with both Russian President and Prime Minister. I must say that the new stage in the development of relations between Russia and Azerbaijan started in the early 2000s, when Russia was headed by Vladimir Putin who paid the first official visit of a Russian President to Azerbaijan. A lot has been done over this decade. Briefly, all the sore points and complicated issues in bilateral relations have been resolved. All of them. Nothing remains outstanding. The last one was resolved during the recent visit by President Dmitry Medvedev to Azerbaijan. The agreement on the state border was signed.
Mikhail Gusman: You have received excellent education at the Russian MGIMO. But I think I will make no mistake in saying that you learned the key lessons in politics, diplomacy, vision of life and the world from Heydar Aliyev. What key lessons of the Heydar Aliyev school are you using today?
President Ilham Aliyev: For anyone the father is a close and dear person. For me, he was also someone I treated and still treat with boundless respect, trust and admiration. Because all his life, his struggle, his fate and his perseverance are an example to follow. Many people may remember the last period of his life: when he was addressing young cadets, he felt unwell, lost his balance and collapsed, then he came back and fell again. But he came back yet again and finished his speech. I don’t think anyone else at his age and in such condition – he had eight fractured ribs and was nearly 80 years old – could have done anything like that. But he did it. He couldn’t live otherwise. That was his character. His courage and fortitude. And, of course, this is an example for all of us: for me and for all Azerbaijanis.
Mikhail Gusman: Imagine that you have the opportunity to go back in time with a time machine. What events of the past would you like to experience again?
President Ilham Aliyev: I think I probably wouldn’t want to do that. Because if it has already been experienced once, the same event will not have the same effect the second time. Instead, if it were possible, I would go forward. For example, 10 years forward. I would have a look whether what I have planned has succeeded and to what extent. This is what I would do with great pleasure. But from the past, if it were possible to go back, I would, of course, return to my mother and father.
Mehriban Aliyeva: It will soon be 29 years since we have been together with Ilham. Naturally, like in any other family, there have been very many happy, joyous and bright events in our life. There have also been problems and difficulties. There have been people irreversibly lost, there has been grief and sorrow. But the main thing is probably the fact that we have experienced all this together. We look and move in the same direction.
President Ilham Aliyev: This may probably sound trite. In this regard I am no different from the vast majority of people on earth. The best time not only for recreation, but in general, the best time during the day is in the evening at home and with my family. The moment I cross the doorstep of my home in the evening, I plunge into a completely different environment in which I have been for several decades.
Mehriban Aliyeva: Despite being engaged in such difficult work, it is a great achievement to preserve emotional vulnerability, sensitivity, openness and kindness. I am also very grateful to him for that. If we talk about what kind of a father he is... The girls are probably in a better position to speak about that. But above all he is a friend.
Leyla Aliyeva: Although he rarely makes any comments and never imposes his will on others, the most important thing for me is not to disappoint him in any way.
Arzu Aliyeva: I know that no matter what, he will always listen and support, and whatever advice he may give, I know I can trust him one hundred percent.
Leyla Aliyeva: Of course, there is tremendous responsibility. In fact, most of all I feel responsible before my father.
Arzu Aliyeva: When the whole family is around, when I am there, when Leyla, Heydar, the grandchildren are there, I see that my father really feels happy. And seeing that, we all feel great and have a good mood.
Mikhail Gusman: These days, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation headed by your wife, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva is conducting large-scale activities to promote Azerbaijan in Rome, Vatican City. Everyone is aware of Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva’s public engagement. She does a tremendous job, she is a Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and an MP. All this is great. But, as I understand it, this means that she is always busy. I know she also enjoys coming back home. Where is the balance and how do her priorities agree with yours?
President Ilham Aliyev: Of course, she has great public commitments, even the functions of the First Lady require a huge effort, social events, etc. There are not too many situations during the year when we are not together. They happen when it is necessary to attend some events. We always look for each other and want to be together. She is a very talented person, talented in everything. So she manages to do everything and to do it at a high level.
Mikhail Gusman: Ilham Heydar oglu, whether you like it or not, your 50th anniversary is right around the corner. You could, of course, rest on your laurels. But as far as I can judge and as far as I know you, this is not in your character. What goals are you setting yourself for the next half century?
President Ilham Aliyev: I will tell you quite frankly – I never take long shots in my personal life. But as President I cannot afford that. Because if you don’t think about the future, it will be difficult to address the issues of today. Many of our initiatives are planned for the future. The world is moving forward and we must be able to catch up with it. Who will dominate the world in the coming decades? Those who are more intelligent. Only.
Mikhail Gusman: Speaking about the future, what do you think one should always take from the past, so that it always accompanies you?
President Ilham Aliyev: The sense of dignity must not be left in the past under any circumstances. Honesty, a kind attitude to people, the feeling of patriotism. I think everyone should carry these main qualities forward. And one must always love his Motherland.