"Baku Process is our contribution to establishing bridges between Europe and the Muslim world. In other words, our foreign policy agenda is based on cooperation, on strengthening partnership and on mutual benefits. And our foreign policy allows us to implement very important international energy transportation projects because without good cooperation, with partners, with different countries it is not possible to implement these projects."
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev at the opening ceremony of the 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue under the motto "Building dialogue into action against discrimination, inequality and violent conflict” at the Heydar Aliyev Center, ONA reports citing the Presidential press service.
"Our economic development during the last period of time was also supported by our energy projects. And together with our neighbors and with our partners we managed to connect the Caspian Sea with Black Sea, Caspian Sea with Mediterranean Sea by diversified network of pipelines thus providing energy security for us, for our neighbors and for many countries in the world. And today when we are actively working on the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor this is a new scale of the project. This project already makes it possible for seven countries to get together and to take benefit and advantage of this", said Mr. President. \
The Head of state emphasized that Azerbaijan's economic development during the last 15 years was the fastest in the world. "We implement very important reforms which allow us to improve largely the business climate in our country, to attract investments. And according to the World Bank’s latest assessment Azerbaijan is number 25 with respect to Doing Business Programme of the World Bank and business climate is very friendly to foreign investments. We are working now on the strategy of reducing our foreign debt which is low-it is about 19 percent of GDP. And at the same time, we are working on issues related to diversification of our economy and eradication of unemployment and poverty. That was one of the main topic on our agenda because our economic development is transformed into the increase in living standards of our people. Fifteen years ago, around 50 percent of our population live below the poverty line, now this figure went down to about 5 to 6 percent."
President Ilham Aliyev said that poverty, unemployment, social inequality, illiteracy-they are one of the sources of radicalism, extremism. "Azerbaijan is a very active partner in the fight against international terrorism, radicalism, extremism. At the same time, we promote to the world the values of Islamic civilizations, we organize numerous exhibitions, presentations, cultural events in different parts of the world to demonstrate our culture and to demonstrate the culture of our partners in other Muslim countries."