Azerbaijan’s First Vice-president Mehriban Aliyeva gives an interview to “Russia 1” TV Channel

First Vice-president of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva gave an interview to “Russia 1” TV Channel.

The interview was shown on the programme “Vesti Nedeli”, which is aired every Sunday.

The host of the programme Dmitry Kiselyov mentioned that the decision on appointing Mehriban Aliyeva to the office of First Vice-president of Azerbaijan was welcomed as a logically grounded decision. D.Kiselyov said: “Mehriban Aliyeva has been actually participating in all the public and political life of the country anyway, and has a rich experience in management. Her influence in the society is doubtless. Mehriban Aliyeva is a deputy of the Azerbaijani Parliament of the last three convocations, has been successfully heading the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. The Eurovision-2012 Song Contest was held very successfully under her leadership in Baku, and in 2015, the first European Games were organised for the first time in the history. Mehriban Aliyeva has successfully disproved the stereotype that the politics is a business of men in the eastern countries.”

In her interview, Azerbaijan’s First Vice-president Mehriban Aliyeva said in this new office, she will justify the confidence of the President and, more importantly, of the people who have confidence in her. Mehriban Aliyeva said: “To appoint me to the office of First Vice-president of Azerbaijan was the personal initiative of the President of Azerbaijan. Certainly, the fact that I have for long years been the President’s spouse and his associate has played its role.”

Azerbaijan’s First Vice-president answered the correspondent’s question “Did you agree at once” so: “We had discussions over the matter. The main point that I was hesitating was how successful I could be in fulfilling the duties this position is going to impose on me. I unambiguously say and am certain that the interests of the state and recommendations of my husband will be in complete harmony. That is to say, in his person, I will always have someone who would definitely help me, provide me support when I face any difficulties, and will show the correct way to follow. I should justify the trust of the President and, more importantly, of those people who have confidence in me.”

Further, Mehriban Aliyeva said: “I want to primarily focus on the solution of social issues, the problems facing low-income strata of the population.”

True benevolence requires doing real works, solution of pressing issues, and making concrete steps. Indifference is the most terrible human trait, which should be disfavoured, be it a public figure or a person employed for a state service. The sense of humaneness should be preserved.”

The plot shown by “Russia 1” TV Channel described the charitable activity of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, led by Mehriban Aliyeva, large-scale projects implemented by this organization, including the State Programme on combatting thalassemia. It is underscored that Mehriban Aliyeva, an MP, who linked her activity in the parliament with a charitable work, was the initiator of the State Programme and establishment of a specialized centre for children suffering from thalassemia.

Mehriban Aliyeva said, during her interview to a Russian TV channel: “I try to find a right form of work and right balance to discharge my duties in time. Of course, first of all, I’m the wife of my husband, the mother of my children, have five grandchildren, and the attention that I have been showing to this part of my life, I would not like to leave in the background. No way. I could do so far. And, I hope, I’ll be able to do so in future. I very much like cooking. I’m having a rest while cooking. After all, making tasteful dishes is also a kind of creative work. I like this job, I do and can do this job.”

Mehriban Aliyeva answered the correspondent’s question “Were there cases you cried?” so: “In rare cases, but never in the presence of others. When I was 27, I lost my mother. When my mother passed away, she was only 53 years old. She was an incredibly beautiful, strong and happy woman. She was the first orientalist professor in Azerbaijan, the head of the Oriental Studies Institute. In the course of six months she passed away before my eyes, on my arms. Obviously, I cried most hardly at that time. This loss has, apparently, made me stronger.”

The First Vice-president said she was ready to hear a sound, constructive criticism: “One can be in opposition against the power, but you cannot be an opponent of your country. This is the most terrible case. My objective is that even those strata that tend to criticism the most have less ground for criticism in a certain time.”

It is further mentioned in the plot that in her homeland, Mehriban Aliyeva has been enjoying very high level of popularity. Moreover, among them are also ethnic and religious minorities. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation is a friend of the Azerbaijani Christians, and provides support in restoring temples and constructing national and cultural centres. The Russian language is revered in Azerbaijan. The Slavic University is popular in the country, spectacles of the Russian Drama Theatre in Baku are always sold out. The language of Pushkin and Tolstoy is almost a mother tongue for heads of the country.

Mehriban Aliyeva said: “We speak Azerbaijani, and sometimes Russian. Both the languages are used in our household. This is one of the riches of our nation. The Russian language should not be lost at all. Unfortunately, this is not the case in most post-Soviet republics. It is even amazingly strange why heads of these countries do not understand what a bad trend it is.”

The plot further talks about Mehriban Aliyeva’s activity in the capacity of head of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation since 2002, and her multilateral job as a goodwill ambassador of UNESCO. The correspondent asked Mehriban Aliyeva, mentioning that in the capacity of the First Vice-president she is expecting foreign trips and will have to encounter men who have not been much accustomed to admitting women as politicians due to the Oriental mentality, if she is ready to this:

Mehriban Aliyeva answered so:

- Certainly, we are a country with Muslim faith, however, at the same time, have a secular state with secular bedrocks. We approach our religion and traditions with due respect. Nonetheless, the state and religion are separate, and I think there is no problem in this regard. I am completely ready for this, and I do not consider it to be a challenge.

- Have you ever thought about ruling this country, being its president?

- You know, I’ve not thought and will not think about this. Yes, I will defend Azerbaijan’s interests, yes, I will defend interests of the Azerbaijani people. These would be benevolent deeds for the people of Azerbaijan. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to say any opinion of what would happen in the future.