Presidential Inauguration
October 24, 2008

Ilham Aliyev was inaugurated for his second term as Azerbaijan's president, three days after the Constitution Court ratified the election, which took place on October 15.

At the Inaugural Ceremony in Baku, Russia was represented at the ceremony by Sergei Naryshkin, the head of the presidential administration. Also in attendance was Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, CIS Executive Secretary Sergei Lebedev, and a Turkish deputy prime minister, Cemil Cicek.

"I would like to reiterate today that I will remain committed to these policies [of Heydar Aliyev], and will not deviate from this path," said Ilham Aliyev.

He categorically opposed independence for Nagorno Karabakh, a region in Azerbaijan with a largely Armenian population. The region declared its independence from Azerbaijan to join Armenia in 1988 and has been a source of conflict ever since. "Never - not today, nor tomorrow, not in 10 years, nor in 50 years - will Nagorno Karabakh be granted sovereignty," Aliyev said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said earlier this week he could soon discuss a Nagorno Karabakh settlement with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts in Moscow.

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