Azerbaijan will soon become the leading country in the region and will maintain that title, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev stated. «Our military power should be equal to Armenia’s state budget,» he noted. «Azerbaijan has strengthened its position in the region. We excel Armenia in the Karabakh issue. Our relations with neighboring states are based on mutual respect, I. Aliyev assured. In his words, in 2006, 2007 and 2008 strong impulses aimed at development of the Azeri economy will take place. In conclusion of his speech the President stated that democratization of Azerbaijan is of huge importance: «Where there is no democracy, there can be no development,» reported IA Regnum.