Georgian President’s aide: “SOCAR should take measures with respect to SOCAR-Gas” – INTERVIEW

Georgian President’s aide: “SOCAR should take measures with respect to SOCAR-Gas” – <font color=red> INTERVIEW </font>
# 21 May 2009 09:55 (UTC +04:00)
-Georgian opposition continues protest actions. Can the velvet revolution be repeated in the country?

-No revolution is expected. Though the opposition is not weak, such an issue is not discussed. More serious results can be achieved, if every problem is discussed through dialogue.

-What can you say about the recent military coup attempt?

-There was a military coup attempt, but our security agencies prevented it a day before. The opposition started rallies on April 9, they were created conditions to express their protest, this is the indicator of democracy. Though the opposition violates law, the state does not pay attention to this, they have been offered opportunities to express their opinion openly. Georgian President held a meeting with radical opposition, some proposals were made, they are being discussed at the moment. The dialogue continues, new meeting will be held. We hope everything will be good. Georgian President came to power through elections, in a democratic way, with the support of the majority. The demand of a group of people can not make him resign.

-What issues does your activity cover as an aide?

-Being an Azerbaijani, I concerned myself with the problems of the Azerbaijanis living in Georgia, even when I was the head of a nongovernmental organization. Now being an aide my main task is the integration of Georgian Azerbaijanis into the society. I am working in this field. But I also deal with common issues, I give recommendations concerning some issues, when necessary, work on the projects favoring the state.

-On what stage is the integration of Azerbaijanis into Georgian society?

-The number of the Azerbaijanis holding some posts in the capital and in the regions has increased. The Azerbaijanis knowing Georgian well have been appointed to posts. Taking into account the previous years, the view is quite different now. Deputy governor, deputy head of municipality of Kvemo-Kartli region are Azerbaijanis. Young people work in the police, Ministry of Security, military units, Ministry of Reintegration. Some our active compatriots solve the problems of Azerbaijanis. One should be unbiased, radicalism does not bring success. Difficulties are gradually solved. We had no problems during the period of USSR, later problems emerged, they were created by some persons. These difficulties are discussed up to now. I do not regard it as a difficulty. Azerbaijanis do not have different, special problems, generally problem exists in Georgian state. We should support the state, act for its development. Our compatriots are always ready to do it. Last year during the five-day war in Georgia, Azerbaijanis, especially those living in Kvemo-Kartli gave strong support to the state, helped the displaced Georgians. SOCAR also helped the refugees. About 100 Azerbaijanis participated in the war.

Five of them were wounded and they recovered now, thank God. The Defense Ministry awarded them with medals. I think the biggest problems of Georgia have a social character, but some NGO leaders don’t touch the social problems and said that there were no difficulties and the problems were only in the fields of education, land and toponyms. These issues are discussed by the Georgian authorities and will be resolved in short time.

-What is the problem regarding Georgian language and appointment of school principals?

- One of the difficulties is lack of Georgian language. Most of Kvemo-Kartly population is facing with the problems because of non-acquaintance with the official language. They don’t know the state’s laws and therefore have no idea about the privileges made by the government. If NGOs acting in this field intensify their work, to educate the local population, they can reach the achievements. Certain work has been done in this field and Public Television of Georgia broadcasts weekly news program in Azerbaijani. The program will be intensified soon. There are Georgian language courses. I expressed gratitude to the regional leadership of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation for organizing this work. It is very good job. The students of those courses are learning the Georgian language and computer programs as well and then are employed in the banking system and local administrative organizations. Most of our compatriots send their children to the Georgian schools. There are many Azerbaijani students at the Georgian universities. As a result of education reforms, the ethnic minorities have privileges in the field of education and they have been allowed to take admission examinations in the native language since last year. The process will be improved more this year. The problem of school principals is also resolved. The Ministry of Education of Georgia will hold tests in autumn this year and every people can participate. The representatives of the ethnic minorities will take examination in their native languages and it is enough to know 30 percent of Georgian language.

- SOCAR’s branch SOCAR-Georgia is operating in Georgia now. How do you evaluate this company’s assistance to our compatriots?

- SOCAR-Georgia is intensively supporting our compatriots in the humanitarian field. The students are receiving stipends, and poor people are provided with the medical services, the schools and roads are reconstructed in Kvemo-Kartly, various courses were established. However SOCAR-Gas Company has no structure for the regional affairs because that company is managed by the former Tbilisigas authorities sentenced at one time. The population doesn’t trust them. I think the SOCAR authorities will take measures about them. I would like that our talented compatriots take certain offices in the regional structures. No measures were taken for Kvemo-Kartly’s gas supply. I think that this company should start its activity first from the region populated by Azerbaijanis, but no work has been done yet. Such managers are damaging the SOCAR’s reputation.

- Two recent grave crimes in Azerbaijan – Elmar Huseynov’s murder and bloody tragedy at the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy – were committed by Georgian Azerbaijanis. How do you explain it?

- Farda Gadirov has not lived in Georgia for long time. He returned to Georgia and left for Baku soon to seek a job. We are dreadfully sorry that he committed such a crime. I offer condolences to the families of the tragedy victims. This is a big tragedy. I consider that the investigative bodies will find out its reasons.

-Do the Georgian law-enforcement bodies investigate this crime? Do they detain someone?

-The Georgia’s Interior Ministry renders enough assistance to Azerbaijan in this field, but I have no information about detention of someone.