1news.az reports with reference to the official website for the President of Azerbaijan that President of Azerbaijan, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev also attended the military parade.
President of Azerbaijan, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev made a speech at the parade.
The speech of the President of Azerbaijan, Supreme Commander Ilham Aliyev:
“Dear soldiers, officers, generals.
I congratulate you and the people of Azerbaijan on the Day of the Armed Forces, I wish continued success to the whole personal staff of the Armed forces.
Today's military parade is dedicated to the 95th anniversary of our army. At today’s parade the Azerbaijani government will demonstrate its military power.
Construction of the army is the biggest priority for us. So it must be for any country, because every country has to protect itself. This question is of great importance, especially for countries that are in a state of war.
Azerbaijan is in a state of war. The war is not over, its first phase has ended. Our army should be ready to restore the territorial integrity of the country. The Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has not been resolved over the years. Injustice continues for years. The recognized land of the country is under occupation. Azerbaijanis have suffered a policy of ethnic cleansing. Khojaly genocide was committed against our country. All international organizations protect the position of Azerbaijan. All influential international organizations have adopted resolutions and decisions on the matter. But Armenia ignores international law, and occupation continues. Unfortunately, the negotiations do not produce effect. In that case, of course, there is a great need for army building.
Nagorno-Karabakh is a historical, native Azerbaijani land. Our people have lived and worked in these lands forever. Today, Nagorno-Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan, the international community recognizes and supports the territorial integrity of our country. Present-day Armenia has also been created on the historical Azerbaijani lands. The Erivan khanate, Goycha, Zangezour mahals are our historical lands. Azerbaijani state and people of Azerbaijan will never allow the creation of the second Armenian state on our territory. We will seek the speedy resolution of the matter. The settlement, of course, goes through political ways. The negotiation process is still ongoing. However, our strong military and strong capacity are strengthening our position. Our position is based on the historical justice. I want to say once again that Nagorno-Karabakh is an Azerbaijani land and will remain Azerbaijani land. Our position is supported by the international law. There are four UN Security Council resolutions that demand the unconditional withdrawal of Armenian occupying forces from the occupied lands.
Our position is supported by a strong army. Much attention has been given over the past years to army building to this end. Our army is growing. This is a continuous process. I often visit the military units, familiarize with the situation and see that the combat capability of our army is growing. We have a regular army. The professionalism of our army is growing. The patriotic spirit of the army, like elsewhere in the country, is also on a high level. The vast majority of officers in the army are young people. I am very pleased that the Azerbaijani youth is brought up in the spirit of patriotism. Those who serve in the army are people tied to their country and the people who love their country. These factors further reinforce our army. At the same time, in recent years there has been a very big development in the technical equipment of our army. Over the past few years we have purchased the most modern equipment, weapons and ammunition. A portion of military hardware purchased over the past years will be demonstrated at this parade. Only a small portion will be demonstrated.
Azerbaijan has allocated huge funds into military over the past years. For comparison, I can say that in 2003 our military budget was $ 163 million, last year the figure reached 3.6 billion, and this year it is $ 3.7 billion. This shows that army building is a priority issue. The biggest expense of our budget goes to the army. And it's natural. In recent years, we have purchased the most modern equipment. In the 21st century, wars will be fought rather on the basis of technology and knowledge. This is a requirement of the time. Weapons purchased by Azerbaijan over the recent years are modern. This is the weapon of the high accuracy and a huge devastating force. Nearly a hundred combat and transport helicopters have been bought over the past years. Dozens of combat aircraft, the most advanced anti-aircraft installation have been bought as well. These armored vehicles, most modern tanks and artillery can destroy any enemy target. This process continues.
Military spending will prevail in our overall budget in the coming years. For comparison, I can say that the entire budget of impoverished Armenia is around two billion dollars. That is only the means we use for military purposes is almost twice as high as the overall budget of Armenia.
Strong Azerbaijan can speak in any language with powerless Armenia. We simply still prefer the path of negotiation to preserve stability in the region, since Azerbaijan is a stabilizing country in the region. Azerbaijan is a country that enjoys a very high reputation in the region. No initiative, no project is possible in the region without Azerbaijan’s consent. Therefore, we still prefer the political paths to protect stability and settle the issue peacefully.
But it is no secret that Azerbaijan is getting stronger day by day and Armenia is weakening day by day. Our economic strength has grown incomparably. We excel the enemy several times in any direction and in some areas the superiority is more than 10 times, and the gap will increase more and more since we have clear and open future prospects of development. Azerbaijan is the fastest growing country in the world. There is no second other country which would have developed like Azerbaijan over the past 10 years from the economic viewpoint. I have to repeat that these factors, the historical factors, international law, political factors, our economic and military power will have their say in the settlement, the fair settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and Azerbaijan will restore its territorial integrity. The flag of Azerbaijan will fly over Nagorno Karabakh, other occupied lands, Khankandi and Shusha.
At the same time we focus on local production. Over the past 8 years Azerbaijan has developed i the local military production, we have a lot of military factories to produce 750 titles available. We produce all kinds of ammo. Pistols, rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, mortars, bombs, armored vehicles, sniper rifles, drones – all are produced in Azerbaijan. We have big plans for the enhancement of local production in the future. We already have a very strong military industry. Azerbaijani products are demonstrated at exhibitions worldwide, at the same time increasing our export opportunities. This suggests that it is possible to solve any problem. If only there was a will and good policies. We buy the most advanced military hardware abroad, while at the same time we strengthen and enhance domestic production.
The issues of social protection of servicemen are also being settled successfully. Yesterday, I attended the opening of the new building of the military hospital, and two days ago we increased the salaries of military personnel. The housing problems of soldiers, who have served excellently for 20 years in the Army are also being addressed. The soldiers in this category are provided with free state apartments. Nearly 200 apartments have already been allocated, and in the coming years this process will have become even more widespread. That is, the social and domestic problems of servicemen are being resolved.
Once again I want to say that the Azerbaijani government attaches great importance to the construction of the army. This is our main task, and in the coming years, this process will go faster.
Our strength is our unity. Azerbaijan, as an independent state, has managed to achieve great heights, enjoys a great reputation in the world. We became a member of the most influential organizations in the world - the UN Security Council and present our position in the organization. Azerbaijan has become a very reliable partner not only in the region but also globally. All of our foreign policy initiatives are aimed at peace, tranquility and international cooperation.
At the same time, Azerbaijan enjoys inner stability. And it is also a major factor for development. Azerbaijan enjoys the unity of the people and the government. All of our initiatives are supported by the people of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has done a lot of work on economic development. International financial institutions appreciate our efforts in this area. Even in the years of crisis – this crisis continues in the world - Azerbaijan is developing, its economy is developing.
All sectors of our economy are developing. Through five months of this year our non-oil sector has grown 11 percent, and the total economy - almost 5 percent. Azerbaijan is eradicating the problem of unemployment and poverty, implementing major infrastructure projects. This includes restoring all military camps, the goal has been set to repair all military units, military camps and military bases in the next two years. Due instructions have been given and funds allocated, and this process is successful. That is, we act successfully and confidently in all areas. We improve the well-being of people, raise the prestige of the country, develop the economy, industry. Azerbaijan is moving forward very fast.
Azerbaijan that has been independent for a little more than 20 years has proven that it can live as a free and independent country and defend its choice. We have a strong political will, a strong economy, a strong military. The army stands guard of the state, our choice, our independent policy. And people have to take care of and protect the army.
I always say that a strong state must have a strong army. I believe that Azerbaijan has become one of the strongest states within a short period of time. Now we are implementing big projects, make big investments in the country and abroad. I want to say once again that we are enjoying a very high reputation in the international arena. Of course, today the Azerbaijani army is among the strongest armies not only in the region but also globally - for military capability, and combat effectiveness, and hardware. I am confident that our army will also consolidate with the strengthening of Azerbaijan. Our army is ready to solve any problem in its competence. I, as a Commander in Chief, will continue to support the army building and development.
I am sure that Azerbaijan will successfully carry out all its tasks. Today, we can say there is not a single outstanding issue, apart from the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh. There is a development, specific policies, programs, and excellent results in all areas. I am confident that we will achieve the desired in the settlement of the conflict, restore historical justice, return back to our native land! No other way! The development of the history, the course of history, the processes taking place in the world, strengthening Azerbaijan, and weakening impoverished Armenia are all the realities. These are the realities that we have created with our policies, our will. We will continue to isolate Armenia from all international and regional projects. We will continue to strengthen Azerbaijan. Our strong state will have a say in resolving the conflict, and the Azerbaijani army will fulfill the order of the Supreme Commander.
Long live the Azerbaijan army!