The Azerbaijan State News Agency

OFFICIAL NEWS

SPEECH OF PRIME MINISTER OF AZERBAIJAN ILHAM ALIYEV

Dear sisters and brothers,

Dear residents of Jabrail,

I cordially greet all of you and congratulate you with the inauguration of such nice settlement. As noted, this settlement was built on the Decree of Mr. President Heydar Aliyev, on instructions of His Excellency. For this purpose, means were allotted from the Oil Fund of Azerbaijan. This once again shows that with conclusion of the “Contract of the Century”, Mr. President has made a true and wise step. If that contract was not signed and Azerbaijan could not deliver its oil to the world markets, or did not create the Oil Fund, of course, we would have no opportunity to build such nice buildings and present to our sisters and brothers.

Along the way, I watched the remains of the refugee camp and reminded those days. We had meeting with Mr. President here with the refugees and IDPs. Seeing their plight Mr. President became so grieved and sad. He was deeply impressed. Therefore, the refugees settled in Bilasuvar, were first rendered assistance, new houses, schools clubs were built. Five refugee camps were destroyed, instead of which were built 2569 houses. Taking into account that earlier also were built modern houses for the Fizuli residents placed in the Harami plain, we can say that all the refugees have been housed. This policy will be continued further.

Refugees and IDPs ousted from their homes in Armenia will be provided with every condition. Azerbaijan is becoming economically stronger and stronger. Great economic potential has been created in the result of the conducted economic reforms, which will be continued in future. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan MEP is constructed. It will be put into operation in late 2005. In that time, Azerbaijan will receive several times more allotment with which we can solve our social problems. We shall implement additional measures to improve housing conditions of the refugees and IDPs.

In this regard, I have talked today to the Deputy Prime Minister, chairman of the state committee for refugees and IDPs, Ali Hasanov. We are to continue this policy to create such conditions for refugees and IDPs placed in other regions of the Republic. It is our task and we will do it. This is Heydar Aliyev’s policy and we will continue it.

Today, speaking here our sisters and brothers expressed their attitude related to the opposition. Generally, I would not regard this item. But if you note, I would stress my opinion. The opposition meets with the people once a year. Just with the intention to get vote of the people. In the last five years, the opposition name came to be aware of the problems of refugees and IDPs, render assistance them. It never happened. Only once a year in the wake of elections they appear in TV and hold rallies, meetings, give promises, present and boast themselves. There is no need of it, because the people know them well.

Just these people were in power in 1992, when they dragged Azerbaijan to abyss of misfortunes. The Country was on the verge of civil war. Loss of the Azerbaijani lands was just the result of their commitments. Nothing is forgotten. The people remember everything. Of course, the people of Azerbaijan will never vote for those who discredited themselves, destroyed Azerbaijan and robbed national rich of Azerbaijan. Let them not expect this.

I said that Azerbaijan has nice perspectives. Azerbaijan economically develops. Of course, the leading role belongs to the works done in the oil sector, and it is natural. Oil is Azerbaijan’s main wealth, and it is used effectively. Triumph of Heydar Aliyev’s policy just seems here. Sometimes the opposition says that where go the oil profits. This oil profit favors the people of Azerbaijan.

In the period of their power, Azerbaijan received its first oil bonus. During three-four days, these means were transferred to private banks and quickly were plundered. But we under the leadership of Heydar Aliyev, have received in a short period from the oil profits and bonus 1 billion 400 million USD and these means will be transparently saved at the Oil Fund for the future generation.

We shall continue these works. We shall do our best to assist the people in hard plight – our sisters and brothers. This assistance will be further rendered. But, of course, complete resolution of the issue depends on that the refugees and IDPs could return to their native lands. Great works are conducted in this sphere. As you know, Mr. President is conducting heavy negotiations during several years, as the result of which international position of Azerbaijan strengthens. Voice of Azerbaijan comes from the international tribunes. As the result of activity of the Azerbaijan parliamentarians, for the first time the Council of Europe recognized Armenia as an aggressor. This is an important event. This would have positive impact on the future talks.

The Council of Europe appointed a special reporter on Nagorno Karabakh conflict. In fact, Armenia opposed it. They do not want the issue to be discussed. They attempt to hide the core of the problem, and misrepresent the world community. But we could confide the international community to have certain opinion related to the problem and in our favor.

We shall try to reach peace way solution of the problem and we do not want war. At the same time, we shall never agree that our lands remained under occupancy. We shall liberate our lands.

Now, Armenia considers that it has preference in this issue. Personally, I am not agreeing with it. Let us view the situation in Armenia and Azerbaijan. The gulf between economies of the two countries is deepening. Azerbaijan’s economy develops. Azerbaijan in the last five years only from the oil sale will receive 5 billion USD. Of course, this means will be directed to Azerbaijan’s economic development, and army construction. Welfare of the people will improve and wages and pensions will be increased. Azerbaijan will be economically stronger.

Armenian has no such perspectives. Armenian is in economic crisis. We shall sideline them from all the international projects. We shall have never economic cooperation with them and in this case, Armenia will face a deep failure. After several years, thus, being economically, politically and socially a powerful state, Azerbaijan facing weak Armenia will gain preference. For this purpose, on the instructions of Mr. President great works are done in the army building. We shall continue this work. I am sure that in near future lands of Azerbaijan will be liberated from occupancy and the refugees will return to the homelands.

Today, along the way coming here I familiarized with a woman. I was greeted very cordially. I wish, - and I consider everybody wishes – to become a guest in Jabrail. After Jabrail will be liberated, we shall build nicer houses and I shall be your guest again.

Dear friends, this policy will be continued. Political course of Heydar Aliyev will be continued. We have no other alternatives. For the future of Azerbaijan, for prosperity of Azerbaijan, only this policy should be pursued, and will be pursued. Problems of the refugees and IDPs will always be in the focus of the state.

Somebody here said that this is not a settlement and this is a city. It is so, indeed, look at the houses, schools, medical points, clubs here, roads were constructed. During the soviet time, such works were done in a five-year plan, Ali Hasanov says. It is true.

I once again congratulate you on inauguration of this beautiful settlement. I want you to live here happily. But remember, this is also a temporary shelter. You will return to your native lands. We shall ensure it. We shall restore territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. I embrace and kiss all of you. Thank you.

Deputy Prime Minister Abid Sharifov, Ali Hasanov, department chiefs of the President Administration Yusif Humbatov, Ali Hasanov and other officials attended the meetings.

***

After the ceremony, Prime Minister briefed for journalists.

Q. Mr. Prime Minister, today you had many meetings. What are your first impressions and what meetings are expected?

A. I have many impressions. They are positive and expected. I watch high spirit and respect everywhere. I am pleased with such attitude. This was an expected treatment. I know how the real situation in Azerbaijan is, and these meetings proved it once again. Regions of Azerbaijan develop. Spirit of the people is good.

Today, it is pleased that new infrastructure object is opened in Azerbaijan. Fish breeding factory was commissioned. True, its production is yet not for sale and it will not give profit soon. But it is useful for preservation of the nature of Azerbaijan. Government of Azerbaijan carries out active work in this direction. The meeting pleased me.

Q. Dear Prime Minister, what other regions will you visit?

A. I will visit many regions.

Q. We would like to know how many candidates to President would be run by power.

A. You will know soon.

Q. Mr. Prime Minister, When will the President return?

A. Recently, I think.

The same day, Prime Minister Ilham Aliyev stayed in Saatli region.

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