Jerusalem Post: Presidential elections in Azerbaijan demonstrated people’s will

Sat 14 Apr 2018 07:37 GMT | 11:37 Local Time

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Presidential elections in Azerbaijan have demonstrated the will of the people, head of Israel-based NGO International Projects for Society, political analyst Arye Gut, said in his article published in the Jerusalem Post.

Presidential elections in Azerbaijan have demonstrated the will of the people, head of Israel-based NGO International Projects for Society, political analyst Arye Gut, said in his article published in the Jerusalem Post.

“I first participated in the presidential elections in Azerbaijan as an international observer. I can say that the elections in Azerbaijan will be the beginning of new reforms and new achievements. I think that the presidential elections on April 11 was held according to the requirements of international norms and rules and at a high level. Azerbaijan was doing its utmost to avoid any defects in the implementation of laws. I believe that the elections have demonstrated the will of the people of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan people know who is the right candidate for new presidential period,” Gut says.

“The presidential elections in Azerbaijan are conducted openly and transparently. An Israeli delegation of nine people was visiting Azerbaijan to monitor the election process, including members of the Knesset, ex-ministers, and the former head of the Israel National Security Council. The rank of our delegation was very high, representative.”

“An independent policy of Ilham Aliyev based on national interests is the cornerstone of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy. Ilham Aliyev's foreign policy strategy is based on accurate diplomacy and a balanced foreign politics. An independent foreign policy primarily rests on the aspiration to forge equal relations with all countries,” Gut says.

“Azerbaijan is affiliated with no military-political block and focuses on beneficial cooperation with countries of all shapes and sizes. Azerbaijan does not tolerate the language of pressure, and cooperation with foreign partners is based solely on reciprocity. Because of the balanced multi vector diplomacy of Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan today has its own word on the international political arena and is considered to be the most important in geographical sense and the most powerful in economical and defense sense, country in the region of Caucasus. It is undisputable fact that the Ilham Aliyev's foreign policy is very clear and predictable.”

He says: “Azerbaijan Republic is in favor of fruitful bilateral relations with all the countries, relations which are based on mutual interests, shared values, mutual respect, non-interference into each other’s internal affairs, and with a spirit of partnership. This approach already proves that it leads to positive results. Azerbaijan's foreign policy is an independent foreign policy.”

“Azerbaijan is the most powerful country in the South Caucasus region. Today it is a factual reality that no country in Eurasia has closer or warmer ties with Israel than Azerbaijan. Over the 25-year history of diplomatic relations between the two states proved the necessity and viability of a strategic relationship between the Jewish state and the state with the Muslim majority. Our friendly states indeed act as true and reliable strategic partners. Azerbaijanis and Jews, in fact, cannot only co-exist, but also be real friends and develop and strengthen their relations.”

“As an Israeli citizen, I can proudly say that the President Ilham Aliyev shows a great degree of respect and attention to its Jewish community which an integral part of the contemporary Azerbaijani society. Under the patronage of President Aliyev two synagogues and the largest Jewish educational center in the South Caucasus have been built. Plans are in place for the first Azerbaijani Jewish museum, which will be the first Jewish museum in the South Caucasus,” Gut says.

“One of the biggest challenges of Azerbaijan's foreign policy is the resolution of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. More 25 years Azerbaijan and Armenian live in a situation of no war, no peace. In 1994 the ceasefire regime was established. Since that time, despite various efforts of the international community, they have not achieved a peaceful settlement. It is true that now the negotiation process is more active, more promising and has already certain results – but it is not enough to finalise the deal and to find a solution which will be based on norms and principles of international law and will restore territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. This conflict must be resolved only on the basis of international law and the decisions of international organizations,” he says.

“The energy policy shaped by Heydar Aliyev and further enhanced under the incumbent President Ilham Aliyev aimed to uphold the country’s national interests. That strategy helped Azerbaijan to secure one of the leading roles in various regional and global projects. Today, Azerbaijan is a steadfast partner in the energy security area and plays a significant role in ensuring the energy security of European countries. It is necessary to point out that even if Israel is one of the main clients to purchase Azerbaijani oil at the world market, it has several more important reasons to seek stronger relations with Baku. A significant portion of the oil consumed by Israel (an estimated 65 percent) is imported from Azerbaijan or by way of Azerbaijan through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) major oil export pipeline.”

“Baku serves the linchpin for energy diversity and security for Europe and Western markets, as Azerbaijan is not only the major energy and transport hub in the region, but a major producer of oil and natural gas that presents Europe with a non-Russian, non-OPEC and non-Iranian energy alternative. Azerbaijani pipelines, like the BTC (the largest oil pipeline in the world next to America’s Alaskan pipeline) pumps oil from the Caspian Sea through Georgia and to the Mediterranean Sea, terminating in the Turkish port city of Ceyhan.”

“We have built strong state. We should make Azerbaijan even stronger and I am confident that we will do that. The path we are going on is a glorious path. It is a path of victory and a success. I am confident that we will always go on the path of victories. Go forward to new victories!" - said Ilham Aliyev,” Gut concludes.




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