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Azerbaijan has made serious achievements in the field of democracy

Interview with  Deputy chair of the Milli Majlis International and Interparliamentary Relations Committee Sevinj Fataliyeva

Q: Ms. Fataliyeva, you have recently visited Malaysia, where you attended an international event. We would like you to highlight your visit…

A: On November 24-25, Kuala Lumpur hosted a two-day international forum, themed ‘Hyperconnected World: Challenges in Nation Building’. It was organized by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).

The forum, which was also attended by 127 representatives from 34 political parties in 22 countries, provided opportunities for them to learn from each other's valuable experiences in managing challenges in their respective countries.

Keynote speech at the forum was made by the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

I made a speech at the forum. I expressed confidence that the forum would be beneficial to all countries involved after hearing the inspirational speech from Prime Minister and UMNO president Datuk Seri NajibTunRazak.

I said that every country had its own way to create awareness about tolerance in the various communities and she expected that after the forum, people would be more considerate and respectful of each other's beliefs.

"As one of the panelists I spoke on realising the voices of people and how the government of Azerbaijan cooperates with the non-government organisations (NGO) that represent the voices of the people in making the national policy.

Q: How do you think how Azerbaijan`s achievements are assessed on the international scale?

A: Azerbaijan serves a role model for many countries in terms of its development. Many radical changes have taken place in our country in the past years. Having carried out important and effective reforms in the last decade, Azerbaijan became the fastest growing economy in the world. We have also made considerable achievements in building a democratic and civil society. The government of Azerbaijan attaches a particular importance to building a democratic and constitutional state. Key government priorities include promoting democratic values, building democratic institutions, ensuring the provision of human rights and freedoms, strengthening civil society building. The government of Azerbaijan is carrying out rational and pragmatic policy, which is aimed at strengthening the legislation, ensuring socio-political stability, implementing legal reforms, and speeding up the democratization process.

Q: What about the results of legal and democratic reforms in the country?

A: considerable work has been done to ensure development of the free media in Azerbaijan. Our country embarked on the path toward democratic state building. Azerbaijan has been confidently moving forward on the path towards development. As one of the critical factors of democracy, development of the freedom of speech and press has been among key priorities. The freedom of press and speech, independent press is one of the essential requirements of democracy.

Azerbaijan is confidently moving forward towards democratic development. The country has a powerful army. Azerbaijan has strong and rapidly developing economy. It has ensured human rights and freedoms, and ensured its independence.

Azerbaijan is a country with a strong position in the region, our state is very strong. We are committed to democratic reforms and market economy. Today Azerbaijan enjoys great respect, our country plays a role not only in regional but also global affairs.

Q: The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict poses a serious threat to regional security. How does this impact cooperation opportunities in the region?

A: From the perspective of international law, Nagorno-Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan. Nagorno-Karabakh, the occupied territories are our native lands.

The whole world recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as an integral part of Azerbaijan and will never recognize the self-styled Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent entity. The Azerbaijani state will never tolerate a second Armenian state on its territory.

The main problem faced by our country for a long time is occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory by Armenia.

Everything is clearly stated in the resolutions of the UN Security Council and other international organizations. But, unfortunately, they remain on paper. In order to change the status-quo Armenia should start withdrawing its troops from our lands, but Armenia ignores these statements. Therefore implementation of resolutions of international organizations, restoration of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and resolution of the conflict based on the principles of territorial integrity of countries is the main prerequisite for successful resolution of the conflict.

We think that if negotiations are continued without any pressure on Armenia, it will not produce results. However, we see no alternative for the negotiations. We believe that there is still the possibility of a peaceful settlement of Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, because the international community has not fully expressed its position. This conflict will be settled peacefully and the occupants will step back if the international community starts exerting a serious pressure on Armenia.