Baku. Ramiz Mikayiloghlu – APA. “The year, which is coming to an end, the Azerbaijani people have once more demonstrated their unambiguous support for the continuation of the political policy founded by the national leader Heydar Aliyev and successfully being pursued by President Ilham Aliyev,” Chief of socio-political department of the Presidential Administration Ali Hasanov told APA while speaking about the outcomes of 2013.
According to him, this year’s presidential elections have once more proved that there is no serious disagreement in the society on the country’s future and strategic development course: “Prior to the elections, experts and political analysts named President Ilham Aliyev as the indisputable leader and the results of all polls confirmed the overwhelming victory of the Head of State. For example, the poll conducted within the EU Neighbourhood Barometer showed that 92 per cent of the Azerbaijani people believe in the government. It means that the vast majority of people support Ilham Aliyev and they are ready to trust the Azerbaijani President again. All objective polls demonstrated the close unity between President Ilham Aliyev and the people. It is not accidental that more than 1200 observers from about 100 countries and nearly 50 international organizations declared that the elections were fully democratic, transparent and fair and Ilham Aliyev got a confident victory.”
Hasanov said that this year’s presidential elections were the most significant event for the people and national statehood.
The department chief also stated that all tasks lying ahead 2013 were fulfilled successfully: “This year, economic growth was about 6 per cent, non-oil sector increased by 10 per cent.”
Mentioning that 2013 was declared the “Year of Information and Communication Technologies” in Azerbaijan, the Presidential Administration official regarded the launching of the first satellite of Azerbaijan as an important achievement: “During the last nine months of 2013, industrial, agricultural, service and commercial facilities were inaugurated and about 90 000 jobs were created. President Ilham Aliyev has already stated that new state programs will be implemented for the coming years.”
Ali Hasanov said the main goal of President Ilham Aliyev's policy is to ensure decent living conditions of Azerbaijani citizens.
"As in previous years, salaries, pensions have been raised in Azerbaijan this year, too. This in its turn has increased the incomes of private sector employees. People's incomes have risen and exceed inflation rate by several times. This year the inflation rate has been 2.3%, while people's incomes have risen by 7.6%.
Every year more than 20 000 IDPs are provided with new modern flats. The state eliminates the hard consequences of natural disasters, gives new flats to the affected families, restores the destroyed infrastructure without receiving aid," he said.
Ali Hasanov said investments made in economy, creation of jobs, rise of industrial production, determination of new directions, application of innovations ensure rapid development of not only oil industry, but also of non-oil sector.
The department chief said the strategic target lying ahead is to use energy factor to achieve the creation of strong non-oil sector, reduction and elimination of economy's dependence on oil factor.
"The activities being carried out at present and the real results achieved show that Azerbaijan will achieve this goal in the near future, too. A number of important decisions passed in the recent years, the agreements signed by Azerbaijan with its international partners, especially sanctioning of Shah Deniz 2 project have given a new breath to Azerbaijan's oil strategy founded by the national leader Heydar Aliyev, expanded our opportunities to reach the strategic target lying ahead in the economic sphere," he said.
According to him, though various projects have been presented on sanctioning of Shah Deniz 2 project, delivery of gas, in the end Azerbaijan's position was decisive.
"President Ilham Aliyev has demonstrated principled position, Azerbaijan's national interests have been taken as the major condition in the delivery of Azerbaijan's gas to Europe. So, Memorandum on strategic energy cooperation signed between Azerbaijan and the European Union in 2011, agreement signed with Turkey on TANAP in 2012, selection of TAP project as the major export route in 2013 paved the way for the adoption of final investment decision on Shah Deniz 2 on December 17," he said.
Ali Hasanov said Shah Deniz project will lead to the new situation in ensuring Europe's energy security.
"This will go down in history as the contract of the 21st century," he said.