The goal of anti-Azerbaijani forces is to destabilize the situation in Azerbaijan by tarnishing the image of the first person and his team, said Ali Hasanov, Azerbaijani President’s Assistant to Public and Political Affairs.
He made the remarks on Friday at a roundtable on the theme “Protection of national and moral values in internet media and social networks: Media solidarity”, organized by the Press Council, APA reports.
Press Council Chairman Aflatun Amashov said in his speech that some individuals are being insulted on social networks, noting that such campaigns are due to the forthcoming presidential election in Azerbaijan.
Ali Hasanov said that access to global information and communication networks is freely available in Azerbaijan and so will it be despite some predictions made from the other side of the ocean.
“During the period I referred to, the Azerbaijani authorities have regarded social networks as an easy way of contact with the public and the world. Today, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, various government bodies and officials have profiles on social networks. Mr. President has many times reacted to the problems raised on social networks and said that he considers the Internet as a source of information,” he said.
Hasanov noted that social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, have almost 3 million users in Azerbaijan.
“This is a huge number for a country of 10 million people. The creation of modern communication and Internet infrastructure in Azerbaijan, adjustment of the tariffs to those in other countries of the region, creation of equal opportunities for everyone in this area, provision of the pluralism of thought in the current segment are some of the factors that have had a positive impact on social networks. Nevertheless, I have to admit that the public is certainly concerned by attempts by some circles to abuse the existing opportunities despite the positive attitude Azerbaijan’s government is displaying towards social networks as well as the comprehensive conditions created for extensive use of this segment. The fact that certain foreign forces and domestic political groups are carrying out a disgusting campaign against the Azerbaijani government—and in most cases, to the state of Azerbaijan as a whole—is proof of it,” he said.
According to the presidential assistant, organizers and participants of the campaign conducted at different times target the country’s secular regime, as well as the system of ethnic and religious relations.
“Web pages intentionally created and controlled by various radical religious groups and separatist unions target a tolerant atmosphere in the country and stability, which is our greatest achievement. It’s no secret that these circles, unions, groups are influenced by some neighboring countries, especially by Armenia’s insidious centers,” he added.
Hasanov noted that the abovementioned centers launched as insidious “Azerbaijan project” immediately after the next presidential election in Azerbaijan was scheduled for April 11, 2018.
“Some of our compatriots abroad, who are under the influence of these centers, were also involved in this plan. As this dirty campaign became intensified in a short period of time, I, as the person responsible for the country’s information policy and relations with diaspora, made a special statement on the situation and informed the public. As you know, in my speeches at the meeting with diaspora representatives in the Netherlands in late February and at the congress of Azerbaijani journalists in early March, I addressed the organizers and executors of this campaign that the Azerbaijani society will never support such anti-national activity. After this, during the celebration of the Press Council’s 15th anniversary, I again called on these forces to stop their anti-Azerbaijani campaign. Unfortunately, they did not put an end to their dirty actions,” he said.
The presidential assistant also noted that the issues discussed in the last few days revealed the true face of the people who became the tool of foreign anti-Azerbaijani circles abroad.
“It also became clear that those, who support obscene opposition in Azerbaijan and intends to cause a confrontation in the presidential team, attributing their immoral actions to the government circles, are themselves immoral people. After these discussions, one truth became obvious from the speeches and analyses of those who try to seem as conciliators – the target is not only the president, his family members, his team and me, Ali Hasanov, as one of the members of this team. The goal is to destabilize the situation in the country by the tarnishing the image of the first person and his team, causing a confrontation among them,” Hasanov added.
MP Agil Abbas noted that Azerbaijan's embassies abroad should resist such actions within the framework of the legislation of these countries.
Editor-in-chief of the “East” newspaper Akif Ashirli said that the main purpose of a smear campaign on social networks is to create a confrontation in the Azerbaijani society.
Chairman of the National Television and Radio Council Nushirevan Maharramli called on media, NGOs and community representatives to actively fight the smear campaign on social networks.
Vugar Rahimzade, editor-in-chief of the “Iki sahil” newspaper, said that people who act against the Azerbaijani statehood on social networks are street-minded and those who turned into a tool in the hands of pro-Armenian forces.
Head of the Daily Telegraph Media Group Aynur Jamalgizi said that the number of people who dislike videos posted on the Youtube social network should be more than the number of those who like it in order for these videos to be deleted.
“That's why I urge everyone, especially young people, to be active,” she said.
Editor-in-chief of the “Yeni Musavat” newspaper Rauf Arifoglu noted that the most important issue in this world is security and stability.
“Security and stability that do not exist in Turkey, and even Europe, are ensured in Azerbaijan. We should appreciate this. On the other hand, I don’t support the proposal to close social networks in the country,” he added.