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President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has viewed the new building of Azerbaijan State News Agency-AZERTAC.
Chairman of the Board of AZERTAC Aslan Aslanov informed the head of state of the conditions created in the building.
It was noted that the new building was constructed at 70 Ataturk Avenue in Baku in accordance with a relevant Order of the President of Azerbaijan. The building has nine floors and a basement (parking lot). Advanced safety measures are envisaged in the building, which was constructed in accordance with modern standards, is resistant to 8-magnitude earthquakes, has fire safety and fire alarm systems, two underground water tanks with a capacity of 100 tons each.
A bust of national leader Heydar Aliyev is installed on the first floor of the octagonal star-shaped building. There are also photo stands describing the participation of the national leader, President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva in various media events, their interviews with local and foreign media, the President’s addresses to the nation during the second Karabakh war, as well as visits to the liberated territories. There is also a museum displaying the technical equipment AZERTAC has used at different times.
It was noted that the Agency, which published its first report on 2 March 1920, was able to cover the events in the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and the work done by the government for only 58 days. During the Soviet period, depending on the nature of public and political events, it faced a different fate and its name was changed seven times.
Before national leader Heydar Aliyev came to power in Azerbaijan, AZERTAC, which was somewhat left in the background, became one of the leading news agencies of the former Soviet republics due to the resolve, personal authority and care of the national leader. The exhibits displayed in the museum section of the new building are evidence of that. AZERTAC was next only to TASS and Ukrinform to become a fully computerized news agency of the Soviet Union. The agency was using T-100 teletype, and computers of the Italian Olivetti company the most modern equipment of its time. AZERTAC was one of the three agencies operating this equipment, which allowed it the opportunity of direct transmission of official documents – decisions, decrees and orders – over long distances.
In the years of independence, great leader Heydar Aliyev paid special attention to AZERTAC in implementing the country’s state policy. Following a decree on reorganization of the Agency signed on 3 March 1995, AZERTAC was given the status of a state information body, was provided with a budget, and access to the international information space was set as the main objective. This signaled the start of the establishment of close ties with regional and international media for AZERTAC.
This strategic line is being successfully continued under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev. At present, Azerbaijan represented by AZERTAC is one of the 13 members of the News Agencies World Council with the right to vote. AZERTAC is a bureau member of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA), and the Union of OIC News Agencies (UNA).
The availability of modern equipment is of vital importance in adequately responding to new challenges in the information space. The new building, which is provided with cutting-edge technologies and office equipment, has all the conditions for the effective work of both journalists and technical staff. The building has newsrooms in accordance with international standards, studios equipped with multimedia facilities, an operational round table and a television system. The building has a 180-seat conference hall equipped with simultaneous translation equipment, a 90-seat canteen, a library with a rich fund, medical and sports rooms for various events.
The new building of AZERTAC, which operates on a round-the-clock basis, including weekends and holidays, has a separate transformer station and a diesel generator station that meets the emergency electricity needs. A modern boiler system ensures centralized ventilation of the building in accordance with all seasons. A parking lot for 60 cars has been established in the basement and outside the building, the area has been fully landscaped, and the adjacent street has been asphalted.
Currently a member of seven regional and international media organizations, AZERTAC has signed cooperation agreements with about 50 foreign news agencies in recent years and has information exchanges with about 150 agencies. Among them are TASS (Russia), Xinhua (China), Anadolu (Turkey), Press Association (UK), DPA (Germany), IRNA (Iran), ANSA (Italy), KYODO (Japan), Yonhap (Republic of Korea) and other influential national news broadcasters. The agency broadcasts news in eight languages – Azerbaijani, Russian, English, German, French, Arabic, Chinese and Spanish, as well as video actuality in five languages. AZERTAC has 21 correspondent offices abroad.
A witness to the history of Azerbaijan since the 20th century, AZERTAC is currently writing a chronicle of the 21st century. The comprehensive conditions created in the new building create confidence that the agency will continue to mobilize all its creative and technical resources to circulate information about the country's successes, including large-scale reconstruction work in the liberated areas.
After familiarizing himself with the new building of AZERTAC, President Ilham Aliyev said: Pass on my greetings to the entire team.
Aslan Aslanov: Everyone sends their greetings.
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Answering a question by an Azerbaijan Television correspondent, Aslan Aslanov said: “This building has been constructed on an Order of President Ilham Aliyev. As a result of the special attention and care of Mr. President, such a beautiful building is now in place. In total, 225 employees have the opportunity to work effectively, use modern technical means and innovative technologies. These conditions have inspired our team to work even more productively.”