Jeyhun Osmanli: ‘”Wrong opinions about Azerbaijani youth abroad should be put an end”

Azerbaijani youth studying abroad are said to be involved in various political processes lately. What is your attitude to this?

Our youth should not be divided to those studying abroad and those studying here. Our youth from both category are dear for us. We should benefit from potential of every single man to develop. It is normal for young people to get involved in politics. However, it is worth noting that only 10 percent of illegible youth have party affiliation. About 90 percent of the electorate is non-partisans. The majority are neutral. So, the position of a certain group of people can not be attributed to all.

In your opinion, does the youth studying abroad have anything to do with the influence coming from abroad?

The influence coming from abroad and youth studying abroad are totally different notions. You can not say that influence from outside is entirely bad. It is good when scientific and technological development, quality education, medical, communication and information know-how leak to our country. As to negative influence, it is no secret that there are foreign forces who can not simply accept our independence, who breach our territorial integrity, try to meddle with our domestic affairs, wish to possess the natural resources we have and also those who unwittingly become puppets for these forces. But it has nothing to do with our young people studying abroad. Unfortunately, some opposition parties, radically polarized groups and media representatives say these youth are involved. Activities of every person, whether he/she is from opposition or government, lives abroad or at home, must be regulated by law.

If any person or organization makes illegal calls, this action should be attributed only to this person or organization. So, I say resolutely that the wrong opinions about the youth studying abroad should be put an end. The youth who have already completed their education abroad form a bank of skilled workers for their country and those who still live abroad serve as our spiritual envoys and representatives. Our state will always patron these youth.

You often hold meetings with the youth studying abroad. What do they think about our country?

Nearly 11,000 Azerbaijani youth study abroad at the moment while great number of people has already completed their education abroad. Every person across the world has his/her way of thinking. Therefore, it is unfair to speak on behalf of all youth with just one answer. The absolute majority has just the same objective – to benefit their country, nation and state which is possible only through individual development and being skilled person. There can be different views about the individual development for the sake of common aims.One should not fear individual opinion, but to have own way of treating them. We should convince ourselves that initiative of one individual can save the whole world.

We should see different views regarding development of our country not as trends splitting us, but as an intellectual treasure that weshould benefit. Our independence is 20-years old, that is as young as we are. It is very precious for us. Our independence needs strong footholds to get even stronger. So, we should be able to act as necessary links to serve to development.

What changes did the youth of the country get over the last 20 years?

We are holding identity cards of an independent country for 20 years. This is the most valuable case for us. The country is developingevery passing day becoming source of pride for every young people. Living in an independent country recognized throughout the world has boosted self-confidence of the country’s youth. The society began to trust the youth, the youth began to trust the state and the state began to trust the youth over these 20 years. Both society and the state witnessed that the youth can make a skilled doctor, engineer, businessman and government official.

But our youth aspires to achieve more and more. This is normal since they make up majority in the country. But we want to see them as intellectual majority with progressive ideas. We want to see developing human capital in our society based on science and initiatives.Each person needs to make a lot of effort and to get mature to form such a society.

In your opinion, what should be relations between a government and civil society in order to ensure a prosperous country?

This requires both the government and civilians to make equal efforts. Today the country’s president seeks to build a more transparentcountry with more equal opportunities and social justice. The president has himself raised the issue of combating corruption and bribery urging simple citizens also to fight such negative cases. Both the election period and recent sociological surveys show that the president enjoys high credibility and the people rely on him in terms of solving most of the problems and vote for him. This shows that both the people and president make efforts hand in hand to build more transparent and stronger Azerbaijan. I also condemn those who are still engaged in bribery and corruption even after the government and the people demonstrated their will. Those who are involved in wrongdoing harming their own people should realize that they are betraying their own country, people and state and will be held accountable for this one day. Actions of these people only play into the hands of the opposition and harm the development and image of the country on international arena.

Today the president creates every condition for every citizen to fulfill their potential. The youth enjoys free high education, transparent admission exams as well as transparent exams for civil service employment, an opportunity to get free education abroad, broad opportunities for development in sports, culture and career and hundreds of newly created jobs. The upgraded infrastructure of the country, cultural development and strong economy will serve us and future generations. However, we should also work hard to tackle existingproblems. I believe the joint efforts by the president and people will eliminate all negative trends.

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