Ilham Aliyev celebrates his 54th birthday
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is marking his 54th birthday today. Thanks to his work, relations between Moscow and Baku are experiencing significant development, making Azerbaijan, despite the lack of formal integration between the two countries, the most reliable ally of Russia in the South Caucasus.
During the years of his presidency, Azerbaijan has become the leading economy in the South Caucasus region and a key country of many transnational projects, such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, the Southern Gas Corridor project, TRACECA, the Silk Road project and the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan railway.
Being the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev has been steadily pursuing a balanced multi-vector policy, based on the principles of pragmatism and national interests. His determination and independence allow Azerbaijan to be the only truly sovereign state in the South Caucasus. Ilham Aliyev's policy and political stability make him a true guarantor of stability and prosperity of the country.
The President openly promotes universal values, which are common to all religions, speaking from a position of multiculturalism. In all these years Ilham Aliyev has consistently advocated a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, however, he has consistently emphasized that the restoration of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, de-occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts are of great importance, and consequently, if the occupants do not want to solve the question peacefully, the territories will be returned by military means.
Among the achievements of Azerbaijan under Ilham Aliyev's reign is the republic's entry to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member and holding the First European Games in Baku.
Ilham Aliyev's contribution to the strengthening of mutually beneficial Russian-Azerbaijani cooperation is recognized by the top management of the Russian Federation: it was used in the official congratulation of the Azerbaijani counterpart on his birthday by Russian President Vladimir Putin. "I look forward to continuing my friendly relations with you and working closely together for the benefit of the brotherly peoples of our countries," the congratulatory message of the Russian leader says.
Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly confirmed his commitment to the development of bilateral relations with Russia on a mutually beneficial basis. In April 2013 he told Russia-24 TV that Russia is a strategic partner of Azerbaijan and "it is impossible to make us do something against our strategic partnership."
In this year, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory, Ilham Aliyev once again gave an interview to Russian TV, speaking against the anti-Russian Federation sanctions. "We stand against such a form of international pressure," he said, drawing attention to the support provided by the Azerbaijani delegation to Russia during the scandalous PACE meeting, which adopted a resolution on the anti-Russian sanctions.
"The whole Azerbaijani delegation stood against the anti-Russian sanctions. And I think we showed an example to those who state that they are Russia’s allies, but when they have to demonstrate their position in PACE they prefer to duck and cover. There is another argument, and I think Russian society should be aware of this. It's when the position of friendship should be shown. When everything is well, anybody can say sweet nothings and praise the friend. But when the position should be shown not in Moscow, behind the scenes, but in Strasbourg, this is how dignity and the best personal skills are shown. So, I would like to repeat that we stand against such a form of pressure, it is counterproductive," Ilham Aliyev stressed.
A few days later he took part in the Victory Parade on Red Square and a month later received Vladimir Putin in Baku.
Continuing the independent foreign policy, established by the national leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, built on respect for national interests, Ilham Aliyev is among the most important political leaders of the former Soviet Union for Russia," which means that Baku can count on the objective position of Moscow on the most sensitive matters.
Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev was born in Baku on December 24, 1961.
He graduated from Moscow State University of International Relations (MGIMO) in 1982. Upon his graduation, Ilham Aliyev continued his education as a postgraduate student at MGIMO and received a PhD degree in history in 1985.
He taught at MGIMO between 1985-1990. From 1991 to 1994 Aliyev was involved in the private business sector, heading a number of industrial-commercial enterprises.
He was the vice president and later the first vice president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) from 1994 to 2003. He was actively involved in the implementation of Heydar Aliyev's oil strategy.
He was twice elected to the Milli Majlis of Azerbaijan in 1995 and 2000, and resigned from his post in 2003 due to his appointment to the post of prime minister.
In 2003, he resigned as a Member of Parliament due to his appointment as Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Ilham Aliyev has presided over the National Olympic Committee since 1997 till now.
He was elected deputy chairman of the ruling Yeni Azerbaijan party in 1999, the first deputy chairman in 2001, and the party chairman in 2005.
He was the head of the Azerbaijani parliamentary delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) from 2001 to 2003.
Aliyev was elected the deputy chairman of PACE and member of the PACE bureau in January 2003.
On August 4, 2003 he was appointed the Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Ilham Aliyev was elected president of Azerbaijan on October 15, 2003, gaining over 76% of the votes. He assumed his post on October 31, 2003.
He was reelected for a second term, winning 88% of votes 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%) for the next five years. He assumed the post on October 19, 2013.