Address of Heydar Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the World Azerbaijanis on the occasion of the Day of Solidarity - Baku, December 26, 2002

Dear Azerbaijanis!

Dear compatriots and countrymen!

Annual celebration of 31 December - Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis by citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan and as well as by Azerbaijanis of the world - as a national holiday has already become a good tradition. This is a holiday of national unification and solidarity, appeared as a natural result of adherence of Azerbaijanis to the historical roots, their national achievement, struggle for independence, and reflects the spiritual revival and progress of our people in new historical conditions.

The Azerbaijan people establishing the first democratic republic in the Moslem East in the beginning of XX century, has restored its independence and has entered qualitatively new stage of the development at the end of the century.

Today independent Azerbaijan is the full member and representative of the world community, international and regional organizations. The legal state, a democratic and free civil society is built up in our country.

As regards the maintenance of public and political unity, civil solidarity and stable economic progress, our republic has achieved successes which may an example for many other states.

The new oil strategy of Azerbaijan has already given the fruits - being one of the largest projects of century, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline becomes a reality, the project of Baku - Tbilisi - Erzurum gas pipeline is about to implementation.

International interest to the perspectives of these huge construction projects grows gradually that are expected to have a positive influence on the development of our country, the region and all adjacent countries.

Our people, preserving its progressive national features having undergone the tests of the centuries, adheres, at the same time, to the universal values, our country is included into the family of world nations, it being integrated into global economic, legal and political space.

The international authority of the Azerbaijan state, its economic, political and spiritual potential grows promptly. However, with a feeling of regret I have to note that the process of building of the independent state carried out by our people in the past was accompanied by the Armenian-Azerbaijan, Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh) conflict, violence of territorial integrity of our country and such heavy problems, as the presence of hundreds of thousand of our compatriots being in a position of refugees and the internally displaced persons.

The independent Azerbaijan Republic is the basis and stronghold for solidarity of World Azerbaijanis. The idea of Azerbaijanism and Azerbaijani statehood being the goals of this solidarity, were developed after establishment of our independent state, have taken a firm place in mind of people and became a national ideology uniting our compatriots.

Actually, Azerbaijan Republic is the basic carrier of ideas of unity and solidarity of World Azerbaijanis, the main source of strengthening of national consciousness of our compatriots who have appeared in various time far from the historical Motherland. Today our state acts in a role of the guarantor and the defendant of universal and civil rights of the Azerbaijanis living abroad.

Organization of the I Congress of World Azerbaijanis in November, 2001, establishment of the State Committee on work with the Azerbaijanis living abroad on July, 2002, and other measures aimed at strengthening of unity and solidarity of our compatriots, give positive results.

At precent, unification of World Azerbaijanis around a single idea and ideology, strengthening of contacts with our compatriots are raised on the level of state policy, all official and informal structures are interested in this sphere. I am pleased to note, that the expansion of contacts with our compatriots, strengthening of their unity, solidarity between them develop in the intensive and purposeful form. Participation of the Azerbaijan societies and communities abroad in political and cultural life of these countries is felt more and more.

I believe that our compatriots living abroad will always be carriers of universal values and our progressive national traditions, our language and culture, render their effective help for passing the truth about Azerbaijan to the world community, strengthen the relations between countries they live and their historical Motherland. For this purpose all our compatriots should act from a uniform position on national problems, display a special activity for protection of political and economic interests of Azerbaijan, its culture and spiritual values. The potential and unused opportunities of the Azerbaijan communities abroad and those of our Diasporas are very great, and this domain presents a wide field of activity and creativity for true patriots of Azerbaijan.

I congratulate once again all our compatriots and our countrymen with this holiday, I wish each of them happiness and prosperity.
Heydar Aliyev
The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan