Exclusive with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev

Editor's Note: Located in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia, straddling Western Asia and Eastern Europe, Azerbaijan gained independence in 1991 and has since embarked on a path of socioeconomic development and modernization while consolidating national sovereignty and implementing a proactive foreign policy based on national interest. In this edition of Leaders Talk, CGTN’s Wang Guan sat in Baku with Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, to discuss the country’s unique location between East and West and its cultural and social mosaic linking the Islamic world, Europe and China. President Aliyev looks to the future with confidence and Baku is a shining example of his will to open the country to foreign investors, the Alat Free Economic Zone being part of his general policy to develop a knowledge-based and internationally competitive economy. He also highlights the similarities between Azerbaijan and China, two important trading partners. He commends President Xi for his vision and wisdom and praises him for expanding “China's global circle of friends.” And President Aliyev has a message for young people: exercise! In his sixties, he can do up to 15 pull-ups!

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