Azerbaijani voters prefer victory, trust, development and welfare

BY the decree signed by President Ilham Aliyev, snap Presidential elections will be held in Azerbaijan tomorrow (Feb 7). For the first time in the history of Azerbaijan, an election will be held throughout the country.

In other words, unfortunately, elections could not be held in the regions of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia for nearly 30 years. This was because the indigenous people there were subjected to genocide and forced to migrate after the occupation.

At the end of a 30-year patience period, after the Karabakh issue was resolved by Azerbaijan through military and diplomatic means in 2020 and after an additional three years, Azerbaijan regained its sovereignty throughout the country on Sept 19, 2023.

This means that Ilham Aliyev was the first leader in the history of Azerbaijan who was able to regain the lost part of the homeland. This is a real victory, an important factor for the people.

This victory is not only against the occupying Armenia, but also against those who supported and encouraged it; those who see the continuation of the occupation as their own interests; those who make maximum efforts to prevent the occupation problem from being resolved and organise stalling talks disguised as negotiations; those who instrumentalise international organisations to ensure international peace, justice and democracy in line with their own interests and those who use their international media power for own interests and against many other countries, institutions and organisations with malevolent intentions.

Azerbaijan's creation of a new regional reality by ensuring law and justice with military power undoubtedly disturbed many international circles.

Azerbaijan's resolution of the occupation problem means that these groups will lose an important tool of intervention and pressure. The real reason for the unfounded pressures against Azerbaijan in some international institutions, including the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), can thus be understood.

So, victory was an important goal. The people and the government union in Azerbaijan laid the building blocks of the road to this goal by working with determination and patience. Victory, as a manifestation of international law and justice, was born not as a result of waiting, but as a result of actual work. The rapid economic development of the country led to financial independence.

Successful diplomatic initiatives consolidated Azerbaijan's rightful position on legal grounds in the international arena. Cooperation developed and international agreements reached in the fields of economy, international transportation, energy, renewable energy and trade have elevated Azerbaijan to a very important position.

These developments gave birth to a strong and modernly equipped Azerbaijani Army.

Azerbaijan's election as a non-permanent member to the UN Security Council, its chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement for four years, its hosting of COP29 and dozens of international events to date are indicators of international confidence in it.

Azerbaijan is an important part and even pioneer of global scale projects such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum natural gas pipeline, TANAP, TAP, Southern Gas Corridor, North-South and East-West transportation corridors is considered an important energy supplier and reliable partner.

In the last 20 years, Azerbaijan's GDP has increased from US$7 billion to US$80 billion, and the state budget has increased from US$700 million to US$22 billion. These numbers say a lot.

Huge projects carried out with the green world approach in the regions liberated from Armenia's occupation make the future livable. Smart settlements and smart factories are now being built in the place of cities, towns and villages that were destroyed by the Armenians during the occupation, and people who were expelled from their native lands 30 years ago are returning to their hometowns with tears of joy.

All these facts point to an architect - a person who can awaken and strengthen the values in the soul of his people is called a genuine leader. The rise progresses with determination by working tirelessly against injustice. Ilham Aliyev is the leader responsible for these positive developments.

The writer is Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Kuala Lumpur

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