Address of Heydar Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the occasion of the 58th anniversary of the victory over the fascism - May 8, 2003

Dear compatriots!

Esteemed war veterans!

This year is the 58th anniversary of the victory over the fascism in the World War II. This war is the greatest and most terrible one among the wars in the history of mankind due to its scale and material damage and human losses. It is well known that the World War II was initiated by the militarist forces striving for power on the Earth, first of all by the fascists who ruled Germany. The war, unleashed on September 1939, covered Europe very soon, spread over other continents and lasted for six years. Attacked by the fascist Germany in June 22, 1941 the Soviet Union, to which Azerbaijan belonged too, joined a death and life struggle against the fascism known in history as Great Patriotic War of the Soviet people.

In the course of the war, the occupants made incredible atrocities, killing millions of people, destroying cities and villages, industrial enterprises and objects of culture. But the fascist rule, which caused a lot of calamity to the humanity, could not last long. As a result of the joint efforts of the countries that formed the anti - Hitler coalition, first of all those of the United States of America, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France, the fascist Germany and its allies were defeated, the World War II was over. The victory in this war was the glory of progressive forces over the ideology of vandalism and hatred against humanity.

The Azerbaijani people contributed a lot to the achievement of victory over the fascism. Our compatriots played an important role in the liberation of Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, the Baltic republics and countries of the Eastern Europe from Hitlerites, as well as in the success of the Resistance Movement expanding in the Western Europe. Some 600 thousand of our compatriots went to front in 1941-1945, fighting bravely with implacable enemy. About half of them fell in the battlefields and didn`t return home.

Along with heroism in the front, the Azerbaijanis demonstrated unprecedented heroism in the rear, contributing a lot to provide the fighting army with fuel, weapons, foodstuff and clothes. It is well known that distinct from all other wars of the past, the World War II was not the war of cavalry and infantry, but that of engines, tanks, fighters and bombers and other battle machines. Without oil and oil products the military could no tmake this machinery move and could not gain a victory over the enemy. During the years of war the oilmen of Azerbaijan managed to provide the armed forces with sufficient quantity of fuel in spite of all difficulties. Today, every Azerbaijani is proud that more than 70 percent of oil produced then in the Soviet Union fell on share of our republic.

Our people that have seen the disasters and hardships of the war, opposes new bloody wars and conflicts. Azerbaijan conducts a successive struggle for the establishment of a lasting and sustainable peace in our region and all over the world. We have declared repeatedly our adherence to the peaceful solution of the Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno- Karabakh), Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict which has emerged as a result of the territorial claims of the neighboring country. We believe and the history of the World War II confirms that politics based on violence, occupation and aggression, as well as the ideology of hatred and hostility against other peoples is doomed to failure.

Today the people of Azerbaijan have a powerful army, which meets the modern standards. Our people must know that the administration of Azerbaijan will make use of all possibilities of the international law and diplomacy for the liberation of our territories. The power of our army and patriotism of our people will be a reliable guarantee and effective mean in our just cause.

The Day of Victory over the fascism is one of the most important national holidays of the Republic of Azerbaijan. We do not forget this day, we are proud of this victory and we celebrate the ninth of May as a holiday for 58 years. Today I would like to commemorate with a sense of deep respect all the heroes of Azerbaijani people, its sons and daughters which have sacrificed their lives. I congratulate both the war veterans who fought in the front and those contributed to the victory in the rear, as well as every citizen of Azerbaijan on the occasion of this distinguished day, I wish peace, stability, well-being and prosperity to our people.