President Ilham Aliyev received group of participants of 5th News Agencies World Congress

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a group of participants of the 5th News Agencies World Congress.

President Ilham Aliyev said:

We met yesterday. As I mentioned yesterday in my remarks it is a big honor for us to host this important global event. It is very important that representatives of so many leading news agencies of the world are in Baku. It is a good opportunity for us to present our country. As I said yesterday Azerbaijan is young as an independent county, but it is a country with rich history, traditions, culture. So I hope you will have a chance to see around, to visit some historic places of Azerbaijan and to know more about the country because still we need to do more, to work hard to present ourselves. Twenty-five years is not enough time for that. Of course, we organize different events around the world, cultural events, events related to presentation of our economic potential but the best presentation is when we host our guests here. Especially the guests who work daily to inform the world community about what is happening in the world. Therefore from this point of view I think this Congress in Baku is of great importance for us.

President of the News Agencies World Council, CEO of Press Association Clive Marshal said:

- Thank you very much, Mr President. Represented at this round table today we have news agencies from every corner of the world, and we selected a number of them to ask you questions. I think I speak on behalf of everybody when I say that we were impressed with your speech yesterday. We were particularly impressed with your command of English. It is fantastic.

Many of us have come to your country on a number of occasions over the last three years as we prepared for this event. And it has been a privilege to see both the developments in Baku, and some of us also had a chance to visit some of the small villages. May be my pronunciation will be wrong, one village was called Khinalig where we were welcomed by villagers, and they served us breakfast. This gave us a different insight into your country.

President of the News Agencies World Congress, President of Saudi Press Agency Abdullah bin Fahd Al-Hussein said:

- Mr. President I would like to thank you for organizing this important event. Azerbaijan and Saudi Arabia enjoy great relations. We have to strengthen the bilateral relations between our friendly countries.

Vice-President of Associated Press John Daniszewski:

- Mr President, as we know several journalists in the country remain in prison. As Ali Hasanov has explained this was not for journalism charges particularly, but for other charges, hooliganism, tax charges. We also know that since Khadija Ismayilova was arrested Radio Free Europe has not been allowed to reopen here. I think there are other journalists outside the country who say they are being harassed. I think in your speech yesterday you made the point clearly that you want Azerbaijan to be understood by the world. Can you perhaps map out some steps you might take to reassure the world about Azerbaijan and press freedom?

President Ilham Aliyev:

- When you say the world who do you mean? You always like to speak on behalf of the world. That is what I have witnessed for 13 years of my presidency. But the world is much bigger than any country. Therefore when we talk about international community we hear a lot that international community is concerned. Then we need to identify who international community is. International community are members of United Nations – 200 countries. As I said in my remarks two thirds of these countries supported Azerbaijan as a non-permanent member of UN Security Council. As I said yesterday freedom of press is wholly provided in Azerbaijan. It is enough to look at the substance of this issue. When you have free internet, no censorship and 75 per cent of the population as internet users how can you restrict the press?! If you have two million people on social media, Facebook and Twitter, how can you restrict the press?! We do not have this political goal in front of us. Our goal is to continue to create a modern, developing, democratic society with all the freedoms.

This relates to all other freedoms, like freedom of assembly. Sometimes Azerbaijan is criticized for absence of freedom of assembly, which is completely wrong. It is enough to look at the rallies of opposition, which took place this summer. They did not gather many people, they were less than yesterday`s audience at the Heydar Aliyev Center. But they were free, there were no restrictions. Therefore freedom of press in Azerbaijan is fully provided. Some cases related to journalists should not be taken out of the context. It happens in many countries that journalists commit crimes and then they are prosecuted. We need to be objective here and look at the issues from the point of view of objectivity. If I may ask you a question? Azerbaijan is often criticized for this kind of things, but do you have answer why Julian Assange is still in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London? He is facing extradition and then probably death penalty for some relations with some lady many years ago. And he is there for more than two years, and he is afraid of going out. Do you have any explanation? Is it democratic to treat a journalist like that? Or what kind of treatment is that?

John Daniszewski: I am not an expert on that case. But I believe he is free to go back to Sweden and talk to the prosecutors.

President Ilham Aliyev: But he will be arrested and extradited and probably face life imprisonment.

John Daniszewski: Hmmm. I`m… I`m not sure…May be my Swedish colleague…

President Ilham Aliyev: That is what I am saying. There are cases like that and they should be taken into account in the context. Specific countries should not be selected for attacks. No one is perfect and we need to treat all these issues in the context of reality.


© İstifadə edilərkən "Xalq qəzeti"nə istinad olunmalıdır.

  • I Avropa Oyunlarının təəssüratları uzun müddət xatirələrdə yaşayacaq

    I Avropa Oyunlarının təəssüratları uzun müddət xatirələrdə yaşayacaq

  • Hər gün bir tarix, hər gün bir zəfər

    Hər gün bir tarix, hər gün bir zəfər

  • Birinci Avropa Oyunları məşəlinin Bakının mədəniyyət və incəsənət mərkəzlərinə səyahəti

    Birinci Avropa Oyunları məşəlinin Bakının mədəniyyət və incəsənət mərkəzlərinə səyahəti

Most popular