BAKU: President Promises to Retain Focus On Development of Regions

Baku Today, Azerbaijan
July 29 2005

President Promises to Retain Focus On Development of Regions

Azerbaijani regions should not lag behind Baku, President Ilham
Aliyev said during his visit to the northern regions on Thursday.

The development of regions is one of the key objectives, he said in a
meeting with the public at the Heydar Aliyev Park downtown Gusar.

Touching upon the developments in neighboring countries and terror
acts, Aliyev termed Azerbaijan as a `nest of stability and island of

`The diversity of religions, languages, nationalities and cultures
strengthens and enriches us.’

The President regarded Armenia as a `mono state’. Although 250,000
Azerbaijanis and a great number of Russians and other ethnicities
lived in Armenia during the Soviet Union times, official Yerevan
pursued the ethnic cleansing policy, ousting them from this country.
`Everyone is my brother regardless of his or her nationality,
language, creed and political affiliation’, Aliyev said.

With regard to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the
President said that `our army should be further strengthened and our
land freed at the time of our choosing and by any means’.

President Aliyev also attended a cornerstone laying ceremony of the
Olympic complex in Gusar on Thursday. Following the ceremony,
Minister for Youth, Sports and Tourism Abulfaz Garayev presented two
projects to the President.

The first project, worth $3-4 million, along with the development of
sports in the district, covers building a large center here to
promote tourism. The second one, envisioning the development of
winter sports, including skiing, is valued at 50 million euros. The
project will be co-financed by Azerbaijan, French Fransneish
International and Charme VIP companies.

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