General historical reference to the documents "Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev at the inauguration ceremony" (October 31, 2003 and October 24, 2008)

Ilham Aliyev, prime minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan, first deputy chairman of the New Azerbaijani Party was nominated for presidency by an independent elective group in 2003. On October 1, 2003, President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev withdrew from the presidential race in favor of Ilham Aliyev. Having von more than 76% of votes in the elections held on October 15, 2003, Ilham Aliyev was elected President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. (

In his speech at the inauguration ceremony on October 31, 2003, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev declared that he will pursue Heydar Aliyev`s policy: "On October 15 the Azerbaijani people voted for Heydar Aliyev`s policy, peace, progress, development, stability. This policy has no alternative in Azerbaijan. Heydar Aliyev`s policy has brought great successes to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is developing and achieving successes in all the spheres. Azerbaijan has gained a worthy position in the international arena. Azerbaijan has a good reputation worldwide now. All the large-scale projects in the region are being implemented with the participation of Azerbaijan, taking the interests of Azerbaijan into consideration."

According to Heydar Aliyev`s policy, Ilham Aliyev has been leading a balanced foreign policy and doing his best for the attraction of foreign investments in order to develop the domestic economy in 2003-2008.

During his presidency Ilham Aliyev Azerbaijan has expanded cooperation with other countries and international organizations.

In 2003-2008 the gross domestic product of Azerbaijan increased from 7.3 billion manats to 30.7 billion manats. The GDP per capita has reached USD 5800, which is a big figure for a country with transitional economy. The rate of the development of the economy of Azerbaijan was the highest in the world in 2004-2008. The industrial production increased 2.7 times in 2003-2008.

In 2003-2008 USD 44 billion was invested into the Azerbaijani economy. Great achievements have been gained in the non-oil sector. The sum of minimum pension was increased 4 times, the minimum salary - 8 times, average salary - 3.6 times within that period. The poverty, which was 49% in 2003, was reduced to 14% in 2008. 600,000 people receive adressed social aid. "The State Program on the development of the insurance-pension system in the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2009-2015" was adopted.

Credit in the sum of 80 million manats, in 2009 130 million manats were given to the businessmen of the private sector in order to develop that sector.

Four international airports were inaugurated in 2003-2008. Eight power stations with 700 Megawatt were constructed, it allowed Azerbaijan to supply its domestic power demand and export electric energy. Thousands of kilometers of roads were built.

When on October 31, 2003, President Ilham Aliyev promised to create 600,000 new jobs in the next five years, many considered it just a dream. However, the time proved that his words were true. During that period 741,000 new jobs were opened in the country; 531,000 of them are permanent.

Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline was put into operation in July 2006. Moreover, gas production of Azerbaijan has significantly increased; in 2007 Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline was inaugurated, too. The construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway was started. The above mentioned projects are projects ensure long-term economic development of Azerbaijan and strenghten its positions. The energy security of Azerbaijan has been ensured thanks to the implemented measures.

The army-building process was also going on very rapidly in 2003-2008. A lot has been done for professionalizing the army, strengthening its technical basis. The military expenses of Azerbaijan reached USD 1.850 billion in 2008, while they were just USD 163 million in 2003.

The state budget of Azerbaijan has increased more than 10 times during the recent five years. The Azerbaijani budget, which was equal to USD 1.2 billion in 2003, reached USD 15 billion in 2008. More increase is planned for the state budget of 2009. The currency reserves of Azerbaijan have also increased. These reserves were USD 1.6 billion in 2003, but reached USD 17 billion by the October of this year.

Oil and gas production of Azerbaijan has increased in the recent five years. Oil and gas production, which was equal to 15.4 million tons and 5.5 billion cubic meters respectively, is supposed to be 50 million tons and more than 20 billion cubic meters this year.

President Ilham Aliyev has done his best for solving the problems of refugees and IDPs. He could eliminate all the refugee camps during his first tenure, as he had promised. Twelve refugee settlements have been eliminated and modern ones have been constructed in the recent five years. 47,000 IDPs have been settled in the newly built 36 settlements. 34 schools, 24 hospitals have been built in those settlements. USD 1 billion has been spent for these purposes.

In 2003-2008, 1600 new schools have been built, hundreds of schools were repaired. New hospitals and medical centers have been constructed, as well. USD 5 billion have been spend for education, USD 2 billion - for health.

14 Olimpic and sports complexes were built during 2003-2003, while only five were built till 2003. The number of complexes has reached 19. Construction of 17 Olympic and sports complexes are being constructed.

USD 900 million have been spent on culture during the recent five years. All the historical buildings, museums, theatres are being repaired.

Within "The State Program on the Socio-Economic Development of Regions" (2004-2008), which has been finished successfully, big infrastructure projects have been implemented into life, new entities have been opened in provinces. "The State Program on Poverty Reduction and Economic Development in the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2007-2008", "The Azerbaijani Youth State Program" (2005-2009), "The State Program on Socio-Economic Development of Regions of the Republic Azerbaijan for 2009-2013" and state programs on other fields are being implemented successfully.

During that period negotiations on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh have been continued. Azerbaijan points out the importance of the solution of the conflict within the territorial integrity of the country. The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan has been recognized by all the countries and international organizations. The ongoing processes in the region, as well as the growing economic power and role of Azerbaijan in the region strengthen the position of Azerbaijan in negotiations.

President Ilham Aliyev conducted large structural reforms in 2003-2008. The State Property Management Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ministry of Defence Industry of the Republic of Azerbaijan were established then.

In 2008 the candidacy of Ilham Aliyev for presidency was nominated by the New Azerbaijani Party and different independent elective groups in 2003.

Along President Ilham Aliyev, six other candidates competed in the presidential elections on October 15, 2008. Ilham Aliyev was re-elected President of the Republic of Azerbaijan with 88.73% of votes.

The inauguration ceremony of re-elected President Ilham Aliyev took place at Heydar Aliyev Palace on October 24, 2008. According to Article 103 of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Chairman of the Constitutional Court Farhad Abdullayev invited Mr. Ilham Aliyev to take oath. President Ilham Aliyev took an oath on the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Koran.

In his speech President Ilham Aliyev said: "Today at the inauguration ceremony I thank my people for supporting and trusting me in the recent five years. I want to assure the Azerbaijani people that for developing our country I shall do my best and serve the Azerbaijani people further". (

The historical reference was last updated on October 9, 2009.