Ali Hasanov: Azerbaijan is region's most important country
- 18 November 2016
Baku – APA. From geopolitical point of view, Azerbaijan is considered to be the most important and promising country of the region, said Ali Hasanov, Azerbaijani presidential aide for public and political affairs.
Hasanov made the remarks delivering a report on the topic “The Current Geopolitical Development Realities and Prospects of Azerbaijan” during a meeting of the Presidium of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences in Baku Nov. 18.
“This is indicative of our country’s value as an international partner and its domestic development,” he said.
The presidential aide noted that Azerbaijan is considered to be a leading country in the South Caucasus geographically and in terms of natural and human resources.
“Qualitative and quantitative indicators of human resources in Azerbaijan are higher and more promising than in other South Caucasian countries,” he said. “In 2015, Azerbaijan’s natural population growth amounted to 111,000 people, Georgia’s 10,000, and Armenia’s 12,000.”
According to him, Azerbaijan is undoubtedly a geopolitical and geo-economic leader of the South Caucasus for its favorable location in the Caspian basin and the South Caucasus region, its economic and labor resources, its advantage in terms of human potential, public support for state, domestic stability, national-civil unity, features of frontier living, rich energy sources, marine and land borders with regional leaders Russia, Turkey, and Iran, active policy with the US, western European countries, Russia, China, Turkey, Iran and Israel.
Hasanov noted that in 2015, the volume of GDP in the South Caucasus amounted to billion dollars, 70 percent of which accounted for Azerbaijan.
“Eighty percent of the industrial production worth 20 billion dollars in the South Caucasus belongs to Azerbaijan,” he added. “In 2015, an amount of 26 billion dollars was invested in the South Caucasus, and the 19.5 billion dollars (72%) of it belongs to Azerbaijan. Of this amount, 10.7 billion dollars were foreign currencies. According to self-sufficiency ratio, Azerbaijan has insured its security fully in some areas and partially in some.”
The situation and prospects of geopolitical and geo-economic development of Azerbaijan are incomparable with other countries of the South Caucasus, he stressed.
The presidential aide continued: “Due to the aforesaid parameters, Armenia is isolated from all regional and transnational projects and is experiencing a severe socio-economic crisis. This country is totally in a dependent situation and doest not play alone any geopolitical and geo-economic role. For all its geopolitical and geo-economic parameters, Azerbaijan can only be compared to the most advanced republics of the former Soviet Union – countries such as Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.”
Hasanov said Azerbaijan occupies an advantageous position in the issue of transnational energy export corridors and transport and communication system.
He pointed out that the situation in Azerbaijan on energy carriers can not be compared with any of the neighboring countries.
“Azerbaijan's energy reserves amount to 4.6 billion tons of oil equivalent – 2 billion tons of oil, 2.6 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. Diversification of export routes has created favorable conditions for Azerbaijan to safely export its hydrocarbon resources to the world market,” said the presidential aide.
Hasanov went on to add that from geopolitical and geo-economic point of view, Azerbaijan considered to be a gateway to Eurasia and a key state in the system of transport and communication and energy corridors.
Describing the current military-strategic situation in the South Caucasus, he noted that Azerbaijan, for the number of its military personnel, military-technical condition, military readiness and quality of armament, is far ahead of both Georgia and Armenia.
In addition, Hasanov said, Azerbaijan is a leader in the South Caucasus for the total amount of budget allocated to the army building.
“The military budget of Azerbaijan, which totaled 135 million dollars in 2003, is increasing rapidly from year to year, and reached 4.2 billion dollars in 2015,” said the presidential aide.
Analyzing the situation along the state borders, Hasanov said the demarcation and delimitation of common boundary lines between the Caspian and South Caucasian countries have not yet been conducted fully.
“20 percent of the Azerbaijani territory, including 132 kilometers of the Iranian-Azerbaijani state border and 733 kilometers of the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border were occupied by Armenian armed forces,” he said, adding. “At the same time, the fact that Azerbaijan strengthens regional cooperation in the field of border security with neighboring countries, except Armenia, conducts the joint fight against transnational crime and deepening the process of partnership in safety and protection of the Caspian Sea and land borders are increasing the ratio of border protection.”
Hasanov also thoroughly spoke about the main geopolitical, geo-economic and military-geo-strategic objectives lying ahead for Azerbaijan in the modern period, the main directions of the national strategic policy that will ensure the country’s progress and geopolitical future in the twenty-first century.