My warm greetings to you on the occasion of 31 December – the Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis, which we widely celebrate every year as a symbol of our national unity. I am wishing you all happiness and prosperity!
Our independent state, which develops the ideas of Azerbaijanism of national leader Heydar Aliyev, attaches particular importance to strengthening national accord and takes consistent measures to further strengthen the cultural and spiritual unity of Azerbaijanis of the world. We always support rational initiatives aimed at deepening the relations of our compatriots living in foreign countries with native Azerbaijan and ensuring their direct participation in national matters.
Year 2018 will be remembered for the broad celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which has a glorious place in the history of our people. The official celebration of such a significant anniversary strengthens in the hearts of our compatriots the sense of freedom, independence and justifiable pride for the rich history of our country. We can say with confidence today that the dreams of the founding fathers of the Republic, who were forced to live in emigration 100 years ago, and their followers to see Azerbaijan as an independent and powerful state have already become a wonderful reality.
Despite the complex geopolitical developments unfolding in the world, wars and armed confrontations, problems of refugees and internally displaced persons, global economic difficulties, the Republic of Azerbaijan is confidently pacing towards its big goals. This once again confirms the high assessment by influential international organizations of the successes our country has achieved in the socioeconomic sphere. In the World Bank's Doing Business 2019 report, Azerbaijan has climbed 32 steps compared to last year to 25th place 190 countries and has been included in the list of 10 most reformist countries around the world. On the initiative and with direct participation of our country, large-scale transnational projects have been successfully implemented. The Southern Gas Corridor, which plays an important part in expanding the energy map of Eurasia, and its component, the TANAP pipeline, commissioned in 2018, as well as the completion of all the work on the North-South international transport corridor project on the territory of Azerbaijan after the opening of the Alat-Astara highway, are of particular importance in terms of the growth of the economic potential of our state, its transformation into a transit and logistical center of the region and strengthening of its geo-economic positions. The launch of another telecommunications satellite “Azerspace-2” into orbit this year also serves as a clear manifestation of the success our country has achieved in the field of modern communication and information technologies.
As our country develops, the opportunities for addressing tasks of a more global nature are growing. We are faced with such a fateful task as the liberation of our lands occupied as a result of Armenian military aggression. Azerbaijan pursues a consistent and purposeful policy towards restoring its violated territorial integrity. Our compatriots, in turn, should also be active in drawing the attention of the high circles of their countries and influential international organizations to the just settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and communicate historical realities to the broad public. To develop Azerbaijan and strengthen its positions in the world community, all our compatriots need to rally closely around national goals, and diaspora organizations should coordinate their activities more flexibly. I am convinced that all our compatriots and countrymen, regardless of where in the world they may live, will rely on these principles and apply all their efforts and skills to address the tasks before them in the coming years.
I sincerely congratulate you on the Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis. I am wishing you happiness, well-being and success in your activities!