Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev marks his birthday

December 24 is the birthday of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

Ilham Aliyev was born in Baku on December 24, 1961. He entered the Moscow State University of International Relations (MGIMO) in 1977 and graduated it in 1982. Upon his graduation, Ilham Aliyev continued education as a postgraduate student at MGIMO and received a Ph.D. degree in history in 1985.

He taught at the Moscow State University of International Relations between 1985-1990. From 1991 to 1994 Ilham Aliyev was involved in private business sector, heading a number of industrial-commercial enterprises.

He was vice president, and later the first vice president of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR from 1994 to 2003. He was actively involved in implementation of then President Heydar Aliyev’s oil strategy.

Ilham Aliyev was twice elected to the Milli Majlis (parliament) of Azerbaijan in 1995 and 2000, and resigned from this post in 2003 due to his appointment to the post of prime minister.

Ilham Aliyev has been presiding over the National Olympic Committee since 1997. He was re-elected to this post in 2016. He was elected deputy chairman of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party in 1999, first deputy chairman in 2001, and party chairman in 2005.

Ilham Aliyev headed the Azerbaijani parliamentary delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) from 2001 to 2003.

Ilham Aliyev was elected deputy chairman of PACE and member of the PACE bureau in January 2003.

He was appointed Prime Minister of the Azerbaijan Republic after his candidacy was approved by the country’s parliament on August 4, 2003.

Ilham Aliyev was elected president of Azerbaijan on October 15, 2003, gaining over 76 percent of total votes. He assumed his post on October 31, 2003. Ilham Aliyev was re-elected as president for the second term, gaining 88 percent of votes in the election, held on October 15, 2008. He assumed the duties of the presidency on October 24, 2008.

On October 9, 2013, Ilham Aliyev was elected for a third term by an overwhelming majority of voters (84.54 percent) for the next five years. He assumed the post on October 19, 2013.

At the presidential election in Azerbaijan, which took place on April 11, 2018, Ilham Aliyev won the election, gaining 86.02 percent of votes. He assumed the post on April 18.

By voting for stability, sustainable socio-economic development, progress and independent policy, the Azerbaijani people ensured a happy and prosperous future of a free and democratic Azerbaijan Republic. Azerbaijan once again demonstrated to the whole world that it is a modern, democratic country, where all freedoms are guaranteed.

The results of the survey (in April 2019) conducted by the French OpinionWay Research Institute a year after the last presidential election in Azerbaijan showed that more than 85 percent of the population supports the work carried out under the leadership of Ilham Aliyev.

Some 75.6 percent of respondents answered positively to the question of how they evaluate the president’s fulfillment of election promises. Another survey related to the activities of the Azerbaijani President was conducted in November by the Center for Social Research.

The results of the survey showed that the activities of President Ilham Aliyev on the international and domestic levels are considered very effective and important in terms of protecting national interests and ensuring national welfare.

Overall, 77.5 percent of citizens said that faith and trust in the President had grown even more, and 18.1 percent of respondents said that they kept their stable faith and trust in the head of state.

The president’s statement that “Karabakh is Azerbaijan!” during his speech at the plenary session of the Valdai Discussion Club on Oct. 3 strengthened a sense of patriotism and trust in the state among the population. Overall, 84.9 percent of respondents praised the importance of the president’s speech at the plenary session of the Valdai Discussion Club.

A clear indicator of the activities of President Ilham Aliyev is the Doing Business 2020 report of the World Bank, according to which Azerbaijan entered the top 20 most reformer countries. In the report of the Davos World Economic Forum, Azerbaijan ranks 10th in terms of long-term government strategy and 5th in terms of reform focus.

In 2019, reforms in Azerbaijan expanded. Fundamental reforms and personnel transformations have been carried out in public administration system that will ensure Azerbaijan’s further development as a successful country. Following this, the Azerbaijani parliament of the fifth convocation was dissolved and new parliamentary elections were called.

According to the rating of the most powerful countries compiled by the US News magazine, Azerbaijan stood 45th among 80 countries.

On June 18, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in order to increase the welfare of the population approved the next social package, which is continuation of the ongoing state policy. The major social package positively affected the budget of more than 4.2 million people. The minimum salary doubled, and the minimum pension grew by 70 percent. A significant increase was also noted in the social allowances for internally displaced persons.

The year 2019 was marked by another foreign policy success of Azerbaijan’s leadership. On October 25-26, the 18th Summit of the heads of states and governments of the member countries of the Non-Aligned Movement, the second major organization after the UN in terms of the number of participants, was held in Baku, where the chairmanship in this structure in 2019-2022 passed to Azerbaijan.

The fact that Baku became the venue for its holding, indicates a serious diplomatic victory and Azerbaijan’s ever-increasing role in the world arena. The final Baku Declaration of the Summit expressed strong support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and solidarity with the country’s efforts to restore territorial integrity, 120 countries condemned the Armenian aggression and occupation of Nagorno Karabakh.

On Nov. 14, the 2nd Summit of World Religious Leaders was held in Baku, which once again indicates that Azerbaijan plays and will continue to play an important role in the development of intercultural and inter-religious dialogue.

The year 2019 was also marked by such a significant event as the opening on Nov. 30 in Turkey’s Ipsala settlement of the most important element of the Southern Gas Corridor – a part of the TANAP pipeline, which will connect the project with Europe.

This event became the embodiment of success of the ambitious project of the Southern Gas Corridor and the convincing victory of the policy pursued by President Ilham Aliyev. The implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor demonstrates the independence and success of Azerbaijan’s energy policy, as well as the confidence of foreign partners in it. It was namely Baku that proposed Europe a way to increase energy security and diversify supplies.

All the above mentioned achievements show that over the past year, thanks to the policy by President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan’s position has become even stronger both on the world political stage and in the sphere of trade and economic relations.

The country has further strengthened its international influence, and the partners admit it as a strong, independent and reliable player.

Success achieved by Azerbaijan is the result of successful domestic and foreign policy pursued by President Ilham Aliyev.