(MENAFN - Trend News Agency) Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 24
December 24 is the birthday of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
Ilham Aliyev was born in Baku on December 24, 1961. He entered the Moscow State University of International Relations (MGIMO) in 1977 and graduated it in 1982. Upon his graduation, Ilham Aliyev continued education as a postgraduate student at MGIMO and received a Ph.D. degree in history in 1985.
He taught at the Moscow State University of International Relations between 1985-1990. From 1991 to 1994 Ilham Aliyev was involved in private business sector, heading a number of industrial-commercial enterprises.
He was 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 implementation of then President Heydar Aliyev's oil strategy.
Ilham Aliyev was twice elected to the Milli Majlis (parliament) of Azerbaijan in 1995 and 2000, and resigned from his post in 2003 due to his appointment to the post of prime minister.
Ilham Aliyev has been presiding over the National Olympic Committee since 1997. He was re-elected to this post in 2016. He was elected deputy chairman of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party in 1999, first deputy chairman in 2001, and party chairman in 2005.
Ilham Aliyev headed the Azerbaijani parliamentary delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) from 2001 to 2003.
Ilham Aliyev was elected deputy chairman of PACE and member of the PACE bureau in January 2003.
He was appointed Prime Minister of the Azerbaijan Republic after his candidacy was approved by the country's parliament on August 4, 2003.
Ilham Aliyev was elected president of Azerbaijan on October 15, 2003, gaining over 76 percent of total votes. He assumed his post on October 31, 2003. Ilham Aliyev was re-elected as president for the second term, gaining 88 percent of votes in the election, held 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 percent) for the next five years. He assumed the post on October 19, 2013.
At the presidential election in Azerbaijan, which took place on April 11, 2018, Ilham Aliyev won the election, gaining 86.02 percent of votes. He assumed the post on April 18.
By voting for stability, sustainable socio-economic development, progress and independent policy, the Azerbaijani people ensured a happy and prosperous future of a free and democratic Azerbaijan Republic.
Azerbaijan once again demonstrated to the whole world that it is a modern, democratic country, where all freedoms are guaranteed.
The creation of a strong army meeting modern standards, along with dynamic economic development, has become one of the main factors characterizing modern Azerbaijan. The formula 'A powerful army based on strong economy' became one of the main directions of activities of President Ilham Aliyev.
The power and strength of the Azerbaijani army was demonstrated on June 26, 2018 at a military parade on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the country's Armed Forces and on September 15 at a parade dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Baku's liberation. This made it possible to witness the strength and capabilities of the Azerbaijani army, to see what it has achieved in the last quarter of a century and to show once again that in recent years Azerbaijani army has greatly strengthened.
Thanks to the care and attention given to the army building by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Ilham Aliyev, today Azerbaijan has the strongest army in South Caucasus. This was proved during the April battles in 2016, when the valiant Azerbaijani army gave a tough response to the Armenian aggressors.
The Azerbaijani army liberated a large area occupied by Armenia, thus opening another glorious page in the country's history. That demonstrated the world the power and aspiration of Azerbaijan for returning the occupied territories at any cost.
The successful operation carried out in May 2018 by Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan Separate Combined-arms Army, resulted in the liberation of 11,000 hectares of land seized by Armenians in the early 1990s, and embarked continuation of the series of victories of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces.
As a result of successful actions in May 2018, the village of Gunnut of the Sharur district and the strategic heights of Khunut (2,065 meters), Gyzylgaya (1,683 meters) and Mehridag (1,869 meters), located around the village, returned to the control of Azerbaijani units. The operation once again showed the strength of the Azerbaijani army.
These events once and forever changed the recent situation and proved the unacceptability of the status quo in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
2018 was marked by another success achieved in the country's foreign policy. The final resolution adopted following the NATO Summit expresses unequivocal support for the territorial integrity of the countries of the South Caucasus, including Azerbaijan.
And as a logical continuation of this process, for the first time in many years, the Partnership Priorities document signed between Azerbaijan and the EU envisaged support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan in the context of the inviolability of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized borders.
The year of 2018 also saw such significant events as the launch of the biggest energy project of the century - the Southern Gas Corridor in May, which is of strategic importance for the entire Southeast Europe.
President Ilham Aliyev launched the first phase of the project the next day after celebrating the centenary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and on the opening day of the 25th jubilee International Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition and Conference, which is very symbolic.
Azerbaijan has already delivered gas produced from its Shah Deniz field through the first segment of the Southern Gas Corridor - from the Sangachal terminal to the expanded South Caucasus Pipeline, and with the commissioning of the TANAP gas pipeline in June, the gas entered Turkey.
The implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor demonstrates the independence and success of Azerbaijan's energy policy, as well as the trust of foreign partners to it. Namely Baku offered Europe a way to increase energy security and diversify supplies.
Thanks to the policy of President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan has received the status of a global geopolitical center and has become a venue for holding political, economic, military, energy, transport and communication, sporting and cultural events and meetings of global importance.
All the above mentioned achievements show that over the past year, Azerbaijan's position has become even stronger both on the world political stage and in the sphere of trade and economic relations.
The country has further strengthened its international influence, and the partners admit it as a strong, independent and reliable player.
We can say with pride that success achieved by Azerbaijan is the result of successful domestic and foreign policy pursued by President Ilham Aliyev.
And we are confident that even brighter future is ahead of independent Azerbaijan under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev.
The staff of Trend Agency sincerely congratulates President Aliyev on his birthday!