Policy is the same, but in the context of parliamentary elections
On 15 July the President Ilham Aliyev held government meeting devoted to the first half of the socio-economic development, and outlined his position on foreign and domestic policy. Analysis of his speech, including theses, arguments and examples taken out of context, show that economic crisis that started at the beginning of the year could not shake the position of the president in relation to the policy pursued by him since the first presidential election in 2003.
The President Ilham Aliyev continued to see Azerbaijan during the past six months as an island of stability surrounded by war in the Middle East, the crisis in Europe and the CIS.
The words of the president mean that he will retain the policy of maximum delay in the process of Azerbaijan's integration into Europe. "We do not integrate. We have integrated and that is enough. If necessary, we will join other unions, as an equal partner, and as a decent country," he said.
Aliyev sees in Europe "injustice, double standards, Islamophobia, envy, and ill-will." The theme of the external enemy encirclement, plots against Azerbaijan, hostile pro-Armenian forces in the West, the fifth column in Azerbaijan remains in the arsenal of Aliyev’s policy, who used it in his speech.
From Aliyev’s speech comes the conclusion that he will pursue a policy of protracted European integration. Despite the criticism of the democratic Europe, President Ilham Aliyev does not plan to curtail relations, and speaks about the necessity to prepare in the coming months a new mechanism, the format and concept of cooperation. Aliyev called the agreement on associate membership unacceptable unilateral cooperation, prescribing instructions to Azerbaijan. According to Aliyev, the new document of collaboration, which may be a contract of partnership or strategic partnership should take into account national interests and values of A
|"We do not integrate. We have integrated and that is enough. If necessary, we will join other unions, as an equal partner, and as a decent country".I.Aliyev|
In the economic sphere hopes for reform have also been pushed for an indefinite period. Aliyev did not put forward any radical plans to liberalize the economy, flaunting "successful economic results," GDP growth - 5.7%, non-oil sector - 9.2%, inflation - 3.5%, cash income - by 6.2%. (How such growth was achieved if in the first half of this year GDP amounted to $25.06 billion, and over the same period in 2014 - $36.7 billion. –Turan.)
He made it clear that an emphasis will be placed on strict government regulation and the personal intervention of the president in business affairs. At that meeting Aliyev instructed to low prices for airline tickets, medicines, hotel rooms, etc. He once again repeated inadmissibility of unfounded checking business entities, the number of which becomes more and more every year; and the tax burden on them once again intensified after the devaluation of the manat in February.
The same programs and concepts with the change of stages remain in the social and infrastructural development and agriculture, but without the ultimate goal. The meeting discussed the improvement of water supply and sanitation, as if there was not a program of drinking water supply and sanitation of Baku settlements by the end of 2013 or its continuation until 2016, which also will fail; there were talks about the growth of grain production instead – from 20 quintals per hectare to 30 quintals per hectares, but nothing was told about the complete dependence on imports of breadstuffs and food security programs.
Thus, the opening and closing of the president's speech and detached views of the government members mean that Ilham Aliyev, as before, will act in accordance with the with the requirements of the moment, will take decisions on the localization mini-crisis and challenges, but will not take strategic decisions in the foreign or internal policies. Both spheres in the near future will be directly related to the upcoming parliamentary elections in November, preparation and conducting of which will determine the agenda of the president.
Turan Analytical Service
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