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The President and his team rightly reflect people`s interests and enjoy their support

Interview with  Azerbaijani President`s Assistant for Public and Political Affairs, head of the Public and Political Affairs Department at the Administration Ali Hasanov

Azerbaijani President`s Assistant for Public and Political Affairs, head of the Public and Political Affairs Department at the Administration Ali Hasanov was interviewed by “Hefte sonu” program of Azad Azerbaijan television channel. The following is the full text of the interview with reference to

Q: First of all thank you very much, Mr. Hasanov, for finding time for us. We congratulate you. Mr. President puts great confidence in you as you had your authority expanded.

A: Thank you very much. For nearly 20 years I have headed the Public and Political Affairs Department at the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Both Mr President and the Azerbaijani society see my work. Certainly it is a great deal of confidence. But at the same time this requires more responsibility, and means more efforts, more work. Public and political affairs sector requires to work all day long. You cannot just come to the Administration, and work for 5 or 10 hours. You should always watch public and political processes, and spend your time on forecasting and managing these processes. It is stability that lies behind development in Azerbaijan.

Q: Mr. Hasanov, how would you assess the public and political situation in the country?

A: The policy carried out by the government of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the past 20 years reflects the interests and wishes of the people. There are two factors that can damage stability. The first is when people do not support or are unsatisfied with the government`s policy. As you can see we do not have this in Azerbaijan. If we do not have this then it means that the government is pursuing right policy, the President and his team rightly reflect people`s interests and enjoy their support. The second factor of stability is public and political organizations, civil society institutions, political institutions, ethnic, religious and other communities. If the government reflects their policy too, then it enjoys their support. As you know we carry out constant dialogue with civil society institutions in Azerbaijan, we listen to their opinions and proposals. The same situation is with political institutions too. So I believe that public and political stability will remain stable.

Q: We witness the intensification of work with political parties, particularly authorities-opposition dialogue. Unfortunately radical opposition prefers to stay isolated, and this causes negative consequences, leads to internal split. What do you think of this?

A: I don’t actually want to comment on why the radical opposition remains isolated. There have been and will be open discussions on this in the society. All forces interested in stability in Azerbaijan have expressed their opinion on this issue. I represent the authorities in this dialogue. 

Building the atmosphere of understanding in society is the key priority for the government. Since taking office President Ilham Aliyev has conducted a working dialogue with internal forces, public and political organizations, NGOs and the mass media. Every year I hold several meetings with representatives of both non-governmental organizations, the media and political parties. According to results of these meetings we made corrections to government policy, and consider their proposals and opinion. Society does not consist of government and people only. There is a layer between them, and it is political parties that have claims for power.

As far as the media are regarded they are a link between the government and public and political institutions. We should work with the media. Azerbaijan is a multinational state. We should pursue a balanced national policy between them. Azerbaijan is the most tolerant state in the region. We are promoting this worldwide. A model of relations between religious confessions in Azerbaijan should be studied.  The government policy on this front is praiseworthy.

Q: Time after time some international organizations attempt to pursue their policy of creating “the fifth column”, and every time they are tackled by a timely intervention of official Baku. This irritates them much more. We would like you to highlight the situation with international organizations…

A: For 20 years I have worked with internal and foreign NGOs. Everybody is aware of their goals and mission. Certainly NGOs are established by citizens and reflect the interests of certain civil groups. But unfortunately most of the international NGOs are created by certain powers and are used as a tool in their bilateral and multilateral relations. Just one fact: when Azerbaijan was preparing to host Eurovision some NGOs united to found an anti-Azerbaijani coalition. Their aim was to damage and spoil the reputation of Azerbaijan. And this year we are going to host the inaugural European Games. Many countries would like to host these games, because they play a tremendous role in improving a country`s image on the international scene. And these groups are again attempt to launch coalitions and want to exert pressure on Azerbaijan.

The policy of Azerbaijan is built on people`s interests. Our President, distinguished Mr. Ilham Aliyev is a very powerful and principled politician, and nobody can exert pressure on him. He remains committed to serving his people.

Q: Much has been done in terms of preparation for the first European Games. First lady, chairperson of the organizing committee Mehriban Aliyeva plays a critical role here…

A: The European Games will be held in Azerbaijan for the first time. It marks a new era in the European sports movement. I would like to underline that the Games are supported by the people of Azerbaijan who are excited and proud that our country will play a very important role in the history of European sport. The Baku 2015 Games will leave a great legacy of new venues, infrastructure and inspiration for the communities and youth of Azerbaijan and Europe as a whole. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Chair of the Baku 2015 European Games Organizing Committee attach a particular importance to ensuring excellent organization of the games. And we see the results. However some NGOS continue their sly campaign aimed at spoiling the reputation of Azerbaijan. But all claims are groundless.

Q: Mehriban Aliyeva`s and President Ilham Aliyev `s visits to Italy, the Vatican have been the highlights of the recent week. Could you please comment on this?

A: As you know Azerbaijan has become energy hub for Europe. The country is now carrying out huge transnational projects. Azerbaijan is a crucial part of projects such as TAP, TANAP, earlier Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum projects. The President`s trip to Bulgaria, for example, created ample opportunities for discussing the opportunities of involving Eastern European countries in these projects, and explore prospects for bilateral and multilateral ties with Bulgaria. The visit was very successful.

As far as Mehriban Aliyeva`s visit to Rome, her visits in the Vatican and the presentation of the first European Games, they are part of a systematic work. Even the countries that will not compete in the games will have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with Azerbaijan`s culture, arts, national and moral values, music, etc.