Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the meeting with Nardaran residents

21 june 2016, 13:45

It is a very significant day in the renewal of the Nardaran settlement infrastructure today. The renovation of internal roads has been completed, and today we are celebrating their opening.

Some time ago, the people of Nardaran sent me a letter and invited me to the settlement. I thought that I should not go empty-handed and decided to go when the roads are ready. Today they are opening. I am very pleased that these roads have acquired a beautiful new appearance. The Mashtaga-Bilgah road has been reconstructed. The internal roads of Nardaran have been renovated and expanded. Adequate compensation has been paid for the demolished buildings. Local residents are also involved in these activities. So it is a wonderful project indicating that every region, every corner and every village of Azerbaijan is in the spotlight. I am doing my best to make sure that there is not a single settlement without proper infrastructure in Azerbaijan. At the same time, the process of rapid socioeconomic development of suburban settlements of Baku is also powering ahead. Infrastructure projects are being implemented in all the settlements. The supply of electricity, gas and water to the settlements is improving. We can say that the vast majority of these infrastructure projects has been completed. As far as the road infrastructure is concerned, of course, it must be consistent with other projects. In particular, the construction of sewage lines should be in the foreground so that we do not have to dig trenches on the roads afterwards.

Baku is our beautiful city, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Of course, the suburban settlements of Baku should also match this level. Therefore, issues related to the living conditions of people, jobs and landscaping should also be resolved. I am sure that outstanding issues will also be r resolved in the coming years, and even better conditions will be created in all the settlements.

Of course, job creation should be an ongoing process. In recent years, we in Azerbaijan have done a lot in this direction, but the population is also increasing. This is also a manifestation of our economic development. People live better, and the demographic situation is improving. But at the same time, this requires the creation of new jobs. The country's economy and industrial production should develop in accordance with this demographic situation. Therefore, the creation of jobs is an ongoing process. Although we have created over a million jobs in recent years, we should certainly keep this issue in the spotlight. The creation of jobs requires investment. The state and the private sector should make investment. Therefore, the business environment should improve. We have taken very serious steps in this direction recently, deepened the reforms and thus ensured sustainable development of our country.

There is creative and landscaping work throughout our country. Public infrastructure is being created – schools, medical centers, public buildings, parks, etc. I want every single settlement, including Nardaran, to have excellent conditions. The work done over the past few months is obvious. It does not require commentary. Nardaran is an ancient place of residence. People have lived and created here for centuries, and have always been loyal to our statehood. The Azerbaijani state is doing everything possible to ensure that the local people live comfortably.

We should ensure the rule of law throughout Azerbaijan, and we are doing that. People should be able to live comfortably everywhere. All freedoms are guaranteed in Azerbaijan. From this point of view, Azerbaijan is a rapidly developing country. This includes the exercise of the freedom of religion. During a recent Iftar ceremony, I set out my vision of the subject again. We in Azerbaijan are building and renovating mosques and temples of other religions. We live in a unique country. All of this has been created by us so that representatives of all religions could live comfortably and contribute to the development of our country. Therefore, all these issues are being addressed comprehensively.

The Azerbaijani people and the state of Azerbaijan are committed to our national and religious traditions. The role we are playing in this area on a global scale is highly appreciated by the Muslim world. The largest organization uniting the Muslim world is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The opinion of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and its leaders regarding Azerbaijan and the processes taking place in Azerbaijan – it has been published – as well as their high assessment of religious issues in our country, are the best indicator. This assessment is not ours. It is an assessment of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which unites the Muslim world. This organization has always supported us. It also supports Azerbaijan's position on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Therefore, all the issues in Azerbaijan are consistently resolved on the basis of thought-out policies. The main thing is to continue the successful development of the country, so that the people of Azerbaijan could live in security, there was public order, people felt safe, there were development opportunities, freedoms were guaranteed, the necessary infrastructure was available, so could be confident of the future, our fate was in our hands and we could continue to pursue an independent policy. Independence is our greatest asset. We have lived independently for the past 25 years, and only in the period of independence did the people of Azerbaijan achieve great success.

We have been part of other states for centuries. We can say that the people of Azerbaijan did not properly see the fruition of the rich oil fields of the Absheron Peninsula despite the fact that in the 19th century Azerbaijan was producing half of the world's oil and occupied a special place in the Soviet Union at the beginning and in the middle of the 20th century. But we all remember too well what we were faced with during the collapse of the Soviet Union: the ramshackle industry, the deplorable state of infrastructure, the occupation of our lands, chaos, anarchy, tyranny and the rampaging armed bandit groups. Today, we are the masters of our own destiny. Every citizen of Azerbaijan must appreciate it. Every citizen of Azerbaijan should seek to further strengthen the independence and not take any steps against it. First, it is a crime. Second, it is unacceptable from a moral standpoint.

There is generally no disagreement in society on these issues today. All patriotic citizens of Azerbaijan, including the residents of Nardaran, are committed to strengthening our state. They have also made a valuable contribution to this. I am sure that things will go even better here now.

I have come to Nardaran settlement today to be with you in this blessed month of Ramadan, to once again congratulate you and all Azerbaijani people on this holy month and to celebrate these wonderful innovations together. There will always be innovation here. You should be aware that the problems of this settlement are always in the spotlight, as is the case with the problems of any other settlement. This is evidenced by the infrastructure projects implemented in the suburban settlements of Baku. Roads, water, sewage lines and schools are built wherever necessary. Jobs are being created. This process has to go and will go even faster. My greetings to all of you again! I wish you success!