This is an electronic version of the book "FIRSTHAND", which provides an opportunity to learn what President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev thinks about the major issues of state building. It contains the most important quotes of the first person of a key state in the South Caucasus on democracy, foreign policy, conflicts, security, fight against terrorism, economy, integration into the international community, regional projects, etc. This information product is a useful source of views and principles of the President of Azerbaijan for both Azerbaijani and foreign diplomats, political scientists, policy makers, government and public leaders, analysts, academics, young professionals, etc.

Today, we can confidently say that Azerbaijan has become a leading country in the South Caucasus. Regional championship of the Land of Fire attracts the attention of the whole world and expands the prospects for a constructive cooperation with leading European states. The resources and capabilities of the modern and sovereign state of Azerbaijan, the geopolitical processes and the major economic projects coincide with the interests of the world's superpowers in issues related to energy and transport security. All this reinforces the country's role in global developments and attracts the interest of prominent political scientists and experts. As Azerbaijan develops, there is an increasing demand for information about it. This is why there is a growing number of Internet and print media materials, articles and commentaries about the geopolitical status of Azerbaijan and the political and economic development vectors chosen by the country.

However, such studies may often be slightly subjective and contain distortions and biased judgments. Along with subjective expert opinions, one may come across all sorts of journalistic interpretations and assumptions about any given situation that are completely wide of the mark. The book has been prepared in order to systematize the information space and to inform the general public about the opinions of the Azerbaijani President firsthand.

Of course, the position of the head of state, the arguments, plans and prospects voiced by the President of Azerbaijan may serve as the best tool for analysts. Thus, life has prompted the need for the appearance of the book "FIRSTHAND", which represents a collection of important sayings and quotes without comment or political editing. It provides the whole range of judgments of the head of state regarding problems of concern for Azerbaijan in the context of global interests. Readers will also learn about foreign political and economic priorities of the President of Azerbaijan, geopolitical and geo-economic projects, the principles of conflict resolution, his views on the development of democracy and human rights, integration into the world community, the program on the country's transition from stability to development, and many other important issues.

The collection will be a valuable primary source and a reference book for those who intend to carry out basic research on Azerbaijan in the context of global developments. It contains valuable and diverse information that will prove useful for experts who wish to learn about the regional significance of the republic, true materials about the pace of development, economic and social progress.

The book has the functions of a textbook, because speeches of President Ilham Aliyev are presented in thematic sections. This makes it easy to search, study and perform a comparative analysis and enables consistent tracking of certain state-building directions of the sovereign country. This edition provides comprehensive coverage of all the important stages of Azerbaijan's development and will contribute to the historiography of the independent Azerbaijan.

Life goes on. Large-scale projects on building a 21st century Azerbaijan are being successfully implemented. And the new ideas of President Ilham Aliyev about Azerbaijan's rapid pace, integration processes and various issues of political, social and economic life of the country will be reflected in relevant thematic blocks of the site in quotes.


Fuad Akhundov




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