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BAKU, October 18 (Itar-Tass) — Azerbaijan is marking on Tuesday the 20th anniversary of restoration of its independence. Amidst the breakup of the Soviet Union two decades ago - on October 18, 1991 -- it adopted the Constitutional Act on the State Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan which started the country's newest history.
Azerbaijan was celebrating the anniversary almost the whole year. Large-scale functions were arranged abroad, including in Russia. They familiarized the public of foreign states with Azerbaijan’s achievements in the past two decades, its historic culture, and socio-economic progress.
On Monday evening, an official reception was held in Baku's Buta Palace. It was attended by Azerbaijan's leader Ilkham Aliyev. Summing up the past two decades in the life of the country, the head of state underlined that "an Independent Azerbaijan has walked a long and successful path" over this time.
He noted the exceptional achievements by this father, 3rd Azerbaijan's President Geidar Aliyev, whose efforts helped the country overcome "chaos, anarchy and outrage" of the first two years of independence and made the right choice of strategic development - a modern secular state, integration in the world community, and commitments to market economy principles and democratic principles. "I will remain committed to this policy," Ilkham Aliyev said.
Speaking about Azerbaijan's economic achievements, the head of state noted that in the past eight years, the country "has shown the development rates that have no match in the world history."
"In the past eight years, the country's economy has grown 300 percent, its industrial production by 300 percent, 950,000 new jobs have been created, poverty has decreased by 500 percent, and budget expenditure has increased by approximately 20 times.
"Therefore, we have ensured a successful, stable and rapid development of the country," the president underlined.
Speaking about the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, he expressed confidence that this problem would "find its just solution in accordance with norms of international law, and that "Azerbaijan's territorial integrity will be restored."
"We wish peace and clam to be in the whole region, so that all the peoples can live in the atmosphere of good neighborly relations. Azerbaijan is a multiethnic and multi-confession country. It is our great advantage, our happiness. The representatives of all religions and peoples living in Azerbaijan are all our respective citizens. We are one family. We're all citizens of Azerbaijan. Every citizen should play and is playing a role in the comprehensive development of our country. I'm absolutely sure that all the tasks the country is facing will be fulfilled successfully," Ilkham Aliyev said.
On Monday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent greetings to the Azerbaijani president on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of restoration of Azerbaijan's independence.
October 18 is a workday in Azerbaijan. A gala concert and fireworks will take place in Baku's Primorsky Bulvar (Avenue) in the evening.