To the press workers of the Republic of Azerbaijan - Baku, July21,1999

Dear workers of the press!

I congratulate you on the remarkable holiday - the Day of National Press, and I convey my sincere wishes to each of you.

Throughout its rich and glorious history the Azerbaijani press has always been a herald of great social ideals and rendered exclusive services to strengthening the desire of freedom, the idea of independence, spiritual progress of the people, protection, preservation and further development of high spiritual values.

After gaining independence, our press, fed by national and universal values, has got greater opportunities to implement into life its highest goals. Freedom of press, speech and thought, political pluralism are firmly observed in the Azerbaijan Republic which has chosen the path of a building democratic, legal and secular state.

A strong system of mass media has been established in Azerbaijan. Hundreds of independent publications, agencies, broadcasters constitute a versatile and reliable network of media in our society. In the information age which we live in, all necessary measures are being taken in our country for the smooth work of the press, for enriching the international experience, and especially for improving thei logistical provisions for the professional development of journalists to protect their rights.

Press is a powerful tool which deepens democracy, gives impetus to political development. Today the main task is to use its opportunities in the construction of state building, establishment of democratic values, formation of a civil society, in implementing reforms, in the moral purification of people. Press should be a mirror of life, the herald of truth, it should encourage and mobilize people to fight in the name of high ideals.

I want to express my confidence that the Azerbaijani journalists with rich and progressive traditions of the press, will always hold the honor of this profession high, demonstrate professionalism, objectivity and integrity in conveying the news about the events currenting in our country and abroad to the public and exert more efforts to spread the truth about Azerbaijan throughout the world.

Heydar Aliyev,
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan