Ilham Aliyev Says “No” to European Integration

At a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan on October 7 dedicated to the question of the economy in the past 9 months, Ilham Aliyev decided to talk a bit about the world crisis and the situation in the Middle East, about migrant issues in Europe, about Europeans’ callousness towards refugees. It was with these exact topics that he began his address, reminding his listeners that all these crises impacted oil-extracting nations.

Further on he once more reminded listeners that Azerbaijan is taking its own path. “This is why we have stability and development”, noted Aliyev and denounced calls for integration with Europe.

“What Europe should we integrate with? The Europe gripped by crisis, where there is a ban on Muslims? It is because we ask these questions that pressure is placed on us and accusations brought against us”, he said, but immediately added that Azerbaijan is working closely with the European Union.

According to him, the European Commission is currently debating Baku’s proposal regarding the format for cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan

Further on he announced that “active work” with the Council of Europe had produced tangible results. “We are prepared for cooperation, but not integration. Those who are calling for integration should forget about it”, emphasized Aliyev.

“This is a setting in which Azerbaijan is successfully developing”, Aliyev said further, and pointed to the holding of the Humanitarian Forum, the Formula-1 competition, the Chess Olympics and the visit from the Pope as examples.

He then touched on the referendum for changes to the Constitution, to which the PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) mission “gave a high ranking” and called on developed countries to “learn democracy” from Azerbaijan.

Then he reminded his audience of support for Azerbaijan from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the European Parliament. In particular, he noted the European Parliament’s “very just position” on the Karabakh conflict.

Meydan TV