Admittedly, its power is manifested literally in all aspects of life. The result is that there are two types of diplomacy: the diplomacy of force and the diplomacy of reason. As history shows, the diplomacy of force sooner or later falls away.
Its devaluation is mainly caused by blind adherence to the factor of physical superiority. According to professionals, diplomacy always favors and benefits from a skillful tactic of waiting, focus and foresight. If these qualities complement each other, the actions that follow yield dividends.
An ammunition kit that includes these qualities makes one reckon with oneself, because it ultimately contains the factor of concentrated physical force. If we extrapolate this successful scheme to the long history of the Armenian-Azerbaijani confrontation, the conclusion is obvious: Ilham Aliyev, a staunch proponent of diplomacy of reason, outplayed not only the aggressive opponent, but also the team of his numerous supporters and lobbyists.
But before confronting the aggressive environment with his concept, the head of the young state had to overcome more than one difficult hurdle. They were inherited from the bygone Soviet era, as well as a series of unfavorable circumstances. Harsh and uncomfortable challenges mostly arise unexpectedly, requiring prompt and, mainly, non-standard solutions.
The period of two decades for the energetic leader of Azerbaijan was not so much a period of self-affirmation as a time of unprecedented offensive innovation.
Ilham Aliyev took the helm in Azerbaijan after many years of unprecedentedly turbulent and masterful rule by national leader Heydar Aliyev, who had been able to steer the ship of state out of the storm twice. The first time was during the Soviet years, when the republic faced a crisis of strategy, and the second time was after the restoration of national independence, when again he had to rescue the country from a difficult stagnant situation.
It is always difficult to take responsible and heavy posts after recognized greats who immortalized their name during their lifetime. Yes, Ilham Aliyev had an impressive handicap as a successful student of Heydar Aliyev’s school. Being a representative of a new generation, he could not have done without the great experience of his predecessor. However, it was a case when he had to add new components to the acquired baggage.
Having taken the reins of power, he was not only to continue the reforms that had been initiated, but also to author new concepts and initiatives. In such a difficult position, new challenges are never long in coming. This is a normal phenomenon in the political environment.
Good managers are not afraid of shaping their agendas to meet the requirements of the present time, while far-sighted ones mold them to meet the future prospects. But before that, it is necessary to clearly realize the contours of the times that are yet to come. The structure of the internal and external agenda in the conditions of Azerbaijani realities was shaped exactly with regard to new challenges, those that required extraordinary approaches.
Looking back at the twenty-year journey of Azerbaijan with its truly grandiose acquisitions, one has to admit that it is a chronicle of universal state building. Since 2003, a vast experience of industrialization has been accumulated, a policy of active integration into the global system has been implemented, and finally, a powerful base of actorhood has been laid for the foundation of the young state.
Striking victories of countries in the international environment are always based on the acquisitions in the domestic life. The restoration of independence in the early 90s was a popular will, but there was no real sovereignty as such. Heydar Aliyev created a platform of independence, which had to be strengthened.
It was necessary to continue the course of economic revival based on the development of the energy vector outlined by the visionary predecessor. This segment was the key to solving the dense block of issues of state and nation building. A set of objectives in the socio-cultural and humanitarian areas also stemmed from it.
The most significant event of the country not only in the previous decades but also in the last 200 years was the restoration of the pride of the Azerbaijani people. By putting an end to the 30-year occupation of Azerbaijani lands, Ilham Aliyev ended the ominous trend of the homeland’s vulnerability to external risks.
But without the rise of the economy, the building of a professional army, the unity of the people and their support for the country’s political course, victory over the aggressor would have been impossible.
Regressive tendencies occurred in the larger world against the background of a clear program of statehood building carried out by official Baku. As a result of the regression, outsiders of the world race were identified. They are called fail states. As a result of unsuccessful policy, Armenia became one of them, producing nothing but new dangers and risks.
As practice shows, the political elites of failed countries did not know how or did not want to notice the problems of their states. The result was chaos all around, a kind of space of hopelessness. The current state of Armenia is a clear example of this. Against this background, Azerbaijan was visibly distinguished by the dynamics of progressive trends, which covered all important areas, and, above all, the social sphere. Annual economic growth made it possible to introduce substantial social packages to support vulnerable categories of the population.
The peak of the specialized recovery happened in 2018, when at the initiative of the head of state, the benefits of the new package covered more than 4 million people. If not for the global pandemic of 2019, the continuation of the course of social support for the population would have taken an even wider scope. But even during the regime of restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak, not only was the program of support for certain groups not curtailed, it saw a steady continuation. At the height of the pandemic, President Ilham Aliyev’s policy was to motivate his fellow citizens to consolidate resources and not to give up morally.
The successful resolution of the problems caused by the rampant virus within the country allowed the head of state to turn his attention also to overcoming the vaccine discrimination lobbied by certain international circles.
Azerbaijan has shown at a high level that it does not only care for its own internal concerns, but is also able to provide various, first of all, sponsor assistance to suffering countries. Baku has made its contribution to the World Health Organization’s budget, realizing how important it is to support international efforts in the virus containment program.
In all his actions, the Azerbaijani leader steadily increased the diplomatic potential, knowing how important it was to curb dangerous tendencies and to give confidence to his contemporaries in the fight against adversity.
Certain international circles, those that have always provoked Armenia to new intrigues against Azerbaijan, saw great opportunities in the expansion of chaos. Baku, on the other hand, showing resilience in the face of stressful situations, did its best to build up a margin of safety in global security. Its efforts, as a rule, yielded the expected fruits.
Azerbaijan’s chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement became a landmark owing to the targeted initiatives of Ilham Aliyev, who noticeably revitalized the activity of the international organization. He promptly proposed to establish a parliamentary and youth network within the second international organization of the world.
The unique proposals were welcomed by the member countries with great willingness. They were designed to strengthen solidarity, diversify coordination and cooperation opportunities.
The sound recommendations for the establishment of new panels had nothing but a galvanizing effect on the atmosphere within the Non-Aligned Movement, exposing the community to realistic formats for effective positioning. For the first time in the history of the organization, Azerbaijan’s chairmanship was extended for a year, confirming the successful work of the Azerbaijani leader in his demanding office.
There is always a direct correlation between the confidence of a successful leader and the process of restructuring the mentality of his fellow citizens. Ilham Aliyev, having created new realities in his country and in the South Caucasus, has won the high level of trust of the national society and numerous contemporaries from other countries.
It is no secret that in the new times the world is experiencing an acute shortage of politicians with high leadership qualities. Not least of all, the rapid growth of crisis phenomena, the emergence of new hotspots, and the impossibility of unblocking entrenched turmoil are due to the shortage of politicians with a clear purpose. Many, if not most, of the new era’s political leaders are failing to live up to their commitments.
Against this background, President Ilham Aliyev continues to carry out the mission of national leader admirably, implementing exclusive initiatives in the system of international programs. They are the engines of integration and cooperation. The President of Azerbaijan is always true to his word, promises and duty. There is a reason they say that those who are careful in their promises are always precise in fulfilling them.
In the twenty years of his presidency, the Azerbaijani leader has not only established a noble reputation with his intellectual initiative, but also took a solid place in the top league of the world’s political elite.
Today Azerbaijan stands out for its stable position in the global geopolitical hierarchy, and its leader embodies the image of an invincible commander who independently resolved one of the most complex and intricate conflicts. In his lifetime, Ilham Aliyev has been able to etch his name in history as a victorious Commander-in-Chief and a victorious President.
In October 2003, the popularly elected head of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev vowed to serve the people selflessly, to become the president of every Azerbaijani. This was and still is the quintessence of his life philosophy. Having kept his oath, he has accomplished all the fundamental objectives of the country. The key to his tremendous success on all fronts was his loyalty to duty and his faith in his compatriots, which allowed him to progressively realize the potential of the diplomacy of reason.
With its help, it was possible to establish a functional management system that maintains permanence. This has become a factor of positive impact on the social environment, promising new preferences. The obvious fact, embodying the striking power of Ilham Aliyev’s concept, continues to strengthen the will and self-confidence in the main avenues of life.