London. 25 January. REPORT.AZ/ "During every my visit to Azerbaijan, I have observed great progress in the activity of democratic institutions in the country".
The British lawmaker, the Head of UK-Azerbaijan interparliamentary friendship group Bob Blackman told Western European bureau of Report News Agency.
He said that he has visited Baku four times so far: "Every time I have witnessed greater development. I'd like to note that I do not mean only physical development".
Bob Blackman stressed that Azerbaijan has been exposed to repressions during the Soviet era, the country gained independence with losses: "However, the country has suffered many difficulties since gaining independence, it managed to withstand the years of crisis".
Head of the friendship group noted that today, the whole world recognizes Azerbaijan as a country loyal to the traditions of multiculturalism. Significant international events, such as Eurovision, Formula 1, European Games, are organized in Azerbaijan, especially in Baku.
According to him, close relations of friendship and cooperation have been established between Azerbaijan and Great Britain, and these relations are developing on the rise: "Our countries have signed a contract of century. I think that our cooperation will further develop and our friendship will become even more intense.
In my opinion, a modern society has been established in Azerbaijan, a modern Islamic society formed and all people have the same rights. Regardless of religion or ethnicity, the Azerbaijani state distributes its revenue in the same fair way among all people. The feature that I mostly appreciate in the Azerbaijani people is its tolerance towards people of different religions. The people of Azerbaijan are tolerant and the Azerbaijani state pursues a worthy policy in this field. Repair of a Jewish synagogue at the expense of the funds allocated by the Azerbaijani state is a clear example of this".
Touching upon the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Bob Blackman said that Armenia has occupied Azerbaijani lands: "Unfortunately, part of the lands belonging to Azerbaijan has been occupied as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. One million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced persons as a result of Armenian aggression. Unfortunately, Azerbaijan couldn't return its occupied lands yet. I hope that Azerbaijan will soon return its historical lands, and refugees, internally displaced persons will return to their homes".