President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received World Health Organization Regional Director for Europe Hans Henri Kluge.
During the meeting, President Ilham Aliyev pointed out the fruitful cooperation between the World Health Organization and the Republic of Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev thanked the World Health Organization for its continued support for Azerbaijan in the fight against COVID-19, noting that the recommendations of WHO on combating COVID-19 were valuable for the country. President Ilham Aliyev said that the situation with COVID-19 in Azerbaijan was very positive, and as a result of the measures taken, the situation was kept under control during the difficult period of the pandemic. Azerbaijan was one of the first countries to start vaccination at the beginning of last year, and more than 13 million vaccines have been used in the country to date. The vaccination process in Azerbaijan has been met with understanding. The head of state said it was an example of citizens’ confidence in the policy pursued by the state.
President Ilham Aliyev said that pandemic restrictions were being gradually lifted in the country, adding that very few restrictions were still in effect and that the Azerbaijani public was understanding of that.
Noting that Azerbaijan had always supported the World Health Organization’s measures in connection with COVID, the head of state said that he had stressed the role of the World Health Organization in combating COVID-19 in his speeches at both the Non-Aligned Movement and the UN General Assembly.
President Ilham Aliyev said that the government had taken necessary measures to eliminate the socioeconomic implications caused by the pandemic in Azerbaijan and now the situation in this area was stable.
Hans Henri Kluge conveyed the greetings of the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to the President of Azerbaijan.
President Ilham Aliyev thanked for Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ greetings and asked Hans Henri Kluge to convey his greetings to the WHO Director-General.
Noting that this was his first visit to Azerbaijan as the WHO Regional Director for Europe, Hans Henri Kluge stressed the importance of this visit in terms of it coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the partnership between Azerbaijan and the United Nations. Hans Henri Kluge said: “I appreciate your global leadership in international diplomacy and congratulate you on this occasion. Your crucial work for sustainable development is of great importance. Because thanks to your personal leadership, international solidarity against the COVID-19 pandemic has been promoted, and this issue has become a major issue on the agenda of the world's largest international organization after the UN – the Non-Aligned Movement.”
The visitor described the extension of Azerbaijan's chairmanship in the Non-Aligned Movement for one year as an indicator of confidence in the head of state, and congratulated him on this occasion.
Hans Henri Kluge emphasized that the cooperation with Azerbaijan was very successful, adding that his organization would make every effort to continue this cooperation. Pointing to the online summit of the Non-Aligned Movement Contact Group on Combating Coronavirus in May 2020, which was held at the initiative of President Ilham Aliyev as chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, he praised the role of the WHO during the Summit. Hans Henri Kluge thanked Azerbaijan for creating a database on medical needs and for providing $10 million through the WHO to 10 countries worst affected by COVID.
Hans Henri Kluge noted that the UN General Assembly's Special Session on Combating COVID-19 had been initiated by President Ilham Aliyev, adding that President Ilham Aliyev had also initiated a resolution on fair and equal distribution of vaccines within the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly. He added that Azerbaijan also included the fight against COVID on the agenda of the Turkic Council.
Hans Henri Kluge also praised measures taken by Azerbaijan against COVID-19 at the national level, noting that the situation with COVID in Azerbaijan was always under control and that the government had been taking the necessary and consistent measures. He also said that Azerbaijan's vaccination policy was very successful.
Hans Henri Kluge said that the World Health Organization intended to continue cooperation with Azerbaijan. Noting that the organization was ready to contribute extensively to the ongoing reforms in the healthcare system in Azerbaijan, he said the measures taken to establish digital and e-health systems in the country were also very positive.
Hans Henri Kluge noted that the World Health Organization was ready to contribute to the process of building a healthcare system in the liberated territories of Karabakh and East Zangazur, especially in the digital healthcare system, and work closely with Azerbaijan in that direction. He stressed that Azerbaijan could become one of the regional centers providing health services in cooperation with the World Health Organization.