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It is necessary that Azerbaijan strengthen defence measures

Interview with  Member of the Milli Majlis Security and Defence Committee Zahid Oruj

Q: President Ilham Aliyev signed Order “On some security measures on the line of contact between the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia”? We would like you to highlight the importance of this order…

A: Very important tasks are stipulated in this order. I think that the most important point is that the regions adjacent to the line of contact should be distinguished from other areas. We believe that a special state program for the regions adjacent to the frontline will be adopted. I think that the order is generally aimed at strengthening defence measures in Azerbaijan.

I think that the social security of the people living in the areas adjacent to the frontline should be strengthened. I appreciate the decision to create a patrol service. The fact that this service will enroll local volunteers is of profound significance. As you know my ordinary citizens expressed their readiness to help the Azerbaijani army after the Armenians` acts of sabotage on the line of contact in September. This will boost the army`s spirits among other issues.

Q: The order also provides for the improvement of some laws. What role can the parliament play?

A: Yes, some laws need to be amended. For example, the law on the military situation should be improved to meet modern requirements because ongoing developments show that we must not rule out the possibility of war. Look local clashes in one direction of the frontline caused serious public reaction. The government of Azerbaijan is taking all necessary measures to strengthen the country`s defence capabilities. People in the reserve are enrolled in military trainings and exercises. The goal is that we are completely ready if the war breaks out.

Q: One of the important points is accurate coverage of what happens on the frontline. What should be done in this field?

A: Azerbaijan`s rapid development, the country`s becoming a powerful and important international actor, its playing the leading role in the region, active involvement in global politics and place in international organizations have become a source of serious concern for certain foreign forces, particularly Armenia, the Armenian lobby and separate circles representing their interests. Misusing the existing tolerant and democratic atmosphere in Azerbaijan, the government`s humane policy for their own ends, these circles and some internal groups are trying to mislead the society, spoil the socio-political stability and blacken outstanding achievements that our country has made. The provocative activities of anti-Azerbaijani circles and internal groups controlled by them will never prejudice the will of the government and prevent its independent policy. It will never prevent the society from moving forward on the path towards development and its strategic choice. Appropriate measures will be taken further on to tackle the activities contradicting Azerbaijan`s national interests and legislation. Recent violence on the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border and the line of contact has revealed illegal and unprofessional activities of some mass media outlets, particularly Internet resources, and also clearly demonstrated inability of relevant public bodies responsible for information provision to properly perform their functions. Necessary steps must be taken to ensure that any action against Azerbaijan`s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and constitution or any attempt to take such actions, including those threatening the information security and national interests of the society, face the full force of the law.

Q: Azerbaijan constantly urges the international community to take severe position against Armenia. But the European Parliament has recently adopted a biased resolution against Azerbaijan. This move is aimed at distracting attention from the Karabah problem, isn’t it?

A: Azerbaijan is a country committed to fundamental democratic values, where civil society is developed and all the freedoms are protected. Today, hundreds of non-governmental organizations and media outlets are freely operating within the law, facing no restriction in Azerbaijan. People are freely expressing their opinions, the state is providing comprehensive support for the development of civil society institutions and media.

Therefore, such statements and documents made on the basis of information ordered by separate individuals and certain circles without taking into account general opinion of the Azerbaijani society, NGOs and hundreds of media outlets about the state of human rights and freedoms are biased, groundless and subjective in nature.

Unfortunately, some external forces are widely using the practice of forming a negative opinion about the independent countries by summarizing some distorted cases regarding the human rights. This is not the right approach.

Of course, if we generalize, one can claim that there’s nothing of democracy even in the world’s most developed countries. A question arises: Why do some authorities criticizing Azerbaijan not comment on the status of democracy in those countries by generalizing these facts. Unfortunately, these double standards can be seen in some western authorities’ attitude toward the regional countries as well.

I think the resolution that the European Parliament adopted should be regarded as an attempt to exert pressure on the independent policy of our state. The main task for any government as well as the Azerbaijani government is to ensure its people’s national interests, sustainable development and security of society, socio-political stability and tranquility in the country. Azerbaijan is an independent country and pursues its domestic and foreign policy in line with its people’s national interests. And Azerbaijan by no means intends to give up its way and act in accordance with the desire of anyone.