Opening and final addresses by Haydar Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan Republic at the meeting dedicated to the 10th anniversary of state independence of Azerbaijan - October 2, 2001

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

As is known, in March of this year I have signed a large Decree on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of obtaining of Azerbaijan its state independence in which it has been stated the opinion of the state on decent celebration of the 10th anniversary. At the same time, envisaging the realization of some measures during preparation, we have elaborated also a plan of measures. A significant work in this area has been done in the course of the last months in the republic, necessary measures are undertaken in different domains. But today we are on the eve of October 18.

As you know, the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan has adopted the Constitutional Act on the state independence in October 18, 2004. This day became Day of declaration of the state independence of Azerbaijan. To tell the truth, in our country this process was delayed a little. Firstly, we have adopted the Constitutional Act on independence later than many other allied republics of the USSR. Secondly, since on March, 17, 1991 in Azerbaijan there was held a referendum on preservation of the USSR and then it has been declared that people has voted on this referendum for preservation of the USSR, obviously, it was necessary to carry out another referendum again.

Unfortunately, this referendum also has been announced very late - by the end of 1991. However, today, it is possible to express certain opinion on these processes. Despite of all this, at the end of 1991 Azerbaijan has proclaimed its state independence. Further in the beginning of 1992 Azerbaijan has addressed itself to the United Nations Organization, and the United Nations Organization has recognized it as an independent state. Many states have consistently declared recognition of the state independence of Azerbaijan.

Thus, 10 years ago Azerbaijan, finally, has approached to the historical day, became an independent state. And now there are 10 years that we live as an independent state. It is, of course, an extremely important event in the history of Azerbaijan. Firstly, the declaration of the state independence, and secondly, that in th3e course of the last 10 years Azerbaijan is living and developing as an independent state, and this is an extremely important event. Therefore we have the right to celebrate decently the 10th anniversary of achieving of state independence. As I have already mentioned, in March of this year I have signed a large decree on this occasion, the plan of measures is approved, works are conducting. There is not much time till 18 October. Therefore I have considered it necessary to call this meeting so that we could receive some information on the work done, if something is yet to be done - to finish it off and to celebrate this historical event on October 18 decently and at the highest level.

I do not think that our state independence is celebrated in a day. According to the Decree issued by me from the beginning of this year, in particular since March, the actions on occasion of the 10th anniversary of the state independence are carried out. But last, gala day is to be celebrated on October, 18. With this purpose I also have called today`s meeting. Ramiz Mehdiyev will inform us about the work done till today. After that we can exchange opinions.


The information given us today testifies that since March till now in Azerbaijan large-scale works for celebration of the 10th anniversary of the state independence have been done. While opening the meeting, I have told, that during issuing and signing of the Decree it was envisaged that all actions should consist in leading on October, 18 to the big ceremony. I believe, that all our organizations, the Ministries, the Scientific, Cultural institutions have organized their work in an absolutely correct direction. This year of 2001 from the beginning and up to the end is a year of celebration of the 10th anniversary of independence, the 10th anniversary of our independence. All works that have done should be estimated positively. At the same time, I think that after celebration on October 18 of the principal event all of us equally should not cool down, since what the big work has been done for this time, there is still much to be done.

Really, finding of the state independence by Azerbaijan is the largest event in our centuries-old history. Having taken advantage of the prevalent situation by 1918, Azerbaijan has declared the state independence, the Democratic Republic which has started activity and if she could exist, then, of course we could develop as an independent state in the course of XX century. But today we should recognize also, that authorities that were at that time at the power are not guilty that it has fallen. Because when an opportunity has appeared and Azerbaijani state, and not only Azerbaijan but some other nations that were in the Russian empire have declared their independence, the powers, overthrown this empire and made revolution - bolsheviks, of course, could not be content with Russia only. They wanted to grasp all territory of the former Russian empire and have received for these purpose good opportunities.

After the World War I as a result of collapse of some empires all over the world, defeat of many large states and intense situation developed in the world in the short time at the territories of former Russian empire a Soviet power has been established. At that time it, I believe, has been caused by historical necessity. It is thought; our historians can analyze better, more precisely and present more authentic opinion. I want to tell, that at that time not only we, but also other republics proclaimed the sovereignty, could not keep their independence. Therefore it is historical process.

Finding by Azerbaijan for the first time the state independence was the event caused by situation developed at that time all over the world after the World War I. It has been caused by disintegration of powerful Russian empire. Without it, if Russian empire which history totals hundreds of years, would not break up as a result of the World War I and a tense situation developed all over the world, - it is necessary to speak frankly about it - how people which have created at that time the democratic republic tried, they would not manage to declare the independence of Azerbaijan. But that period have certainly instilled into our people the aspiration to the independence, it has been installed in he mind of people. In spite of the fact, that in the following 70 years this period was distorted, the historians were not even allowed to study it. And not only in Azerbaijan but all over the Soviet Union. Newly established Soviet power, conducting its policy, promoting its ideology, has installed this ideology in consciousness of many generations, tried to force them to forget that period and has achieved this goal. This event has taken place in the beginning of the century. The same happened at the end of XX century.

In the result of the World War II when "cold war", if it is possible to say, has approached to the end, some processes began to occur in the world, and the Soviet regime could not compete with economic regime of all other countries any more, and in general during this period, for example, after the World War II many empires began to break up in series, such a large empire as the Soviet Union has been doomed for disintegration, it had to collapse and has collapsed.

It allowed us, having taken advantage of it to declare the state independence of Azerbaijan. However not only we, but also all of 15 Soviet republics which were in the USSR, have declared the independence. The Baltic countries have proclaimed the independence a little bit earlier. And Russia has made it in June. However other republics, including Azerbaijan, were late with it a little. It is possible to tell, that among the republics declared the independence, Azerbaijan was one of the last. All this demands the correct analysis. I repeatedly spoke about and today I reiterate that in 1918 the founders of Democratic Republic used wisely the prevalent historical situation at that time. By the end of XX century, in 1991 when the USSR at last has broken up, it was even easier to declare independence. Since, if the empire has broken up, the republics entering into empire, should to choose, as the saying goes, their own destiny and they have done it. All have declared the independence. I have repeatedly spoken about it. As regards Azerbaijan, it contrast to other republics it has experienced a completely other, adverse and heavy period. The aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan has been unleashed in 1988-1989. The Armenian aggression and struggle of political groups taking place in Azerbaijan, the forces, the armed units with each other have not allowed building an independent state in Azerbaijan from the first days, neither has it allowed us to live and follow the way of strengthening of independence. However we should be grateful to Lord that all these heavy processes could not loosen our independence, disintegrate our country. We have gone through this heavy period and from year to another, we gradually strengthen our independence. Today the independence of Azerbaijan is laying on the strong foundation. I believe, that our people who has survived the bitterness of three years, will not allow further and in the future to loose this independence.

Thus, with what difficulties, deprivations we had to face today, we should be happy. Our people should be happy that it has been living in the independent state during 10 years. It is already impossible to change, to shatter it. In spite of the fact that such attempts are undertaken. And inside of Azerbaijan there are still people, trying to break the political stability; people which, declaring some days, want to displace the authority this day.

Today in the world a completely different geopolitical situation set up. Under this geopolitical situation some countries, naturally, for many reasons don`t really want, that Azerbaijan lived independently. Therefore the preservation of our independence is threatened with danger both from the outside, and inside of the country. It is necessary, that each citizen of Azerbaijan knew about this danger and never considered that all is already good.

As a whole the person - is a forgetful one, he forgets much immediately. All those present today here, naturally, are witnesses of that period. And nevertheless they gradually forget it. Forget, that the aggression untied in 1990 by the Soviet government against Azerbaijan, became the reason of a terrible tragedy. It is impossible to forget about it ever. However now I see, that this tragedy began to forget everywhere. Try to justify its originators. Originators of this tragedy already lift their head. It is quite understandable why they lift their head. Why? Because the January events of 1990 are gradually forgotten. These wounds have begun to close up, they should begin to close up. However the wounds in our heart should remind us that January, 20, 1990 is the day of one of the most terrible tragedies in history of Azerbaijan of XX century. Or, let us recall the following period - the period of chaos, the period of anarchy in Azerbaijan, the state crisis in Azerbaijan, the forces, trying to divide Azerbaijan … Now many of them are punished by imprisonment. Nevertheless, many today assert supposedly why they should suffer. Let them to be justified, or release them. As if it was necessary for one and it is completely unnecessary for another people. However, is it possible to forgive people which disorganized, dismembered Azerbaijan in 1992-1993 when independence of Azerbaijan was under terrible threat? It is possible to forgive much, but such actions - never! Everybody should know about it. But people, having forgotten about the national interests, combated for own interests, want, that all of them would have been forgotten, that all would bury in oblivion. It is impossible to allow such.

Therefore it is necessary to write our decennial history. Now here we were informed, that books are written, but it is necessary to write many books, and very authentic books. Probably, even the diary of this decade should be made. That has taken place in this or that day, in what position there was Azerbaijan in such day, what disaster to it threatened these days. Because a time will come when Azerbaijan as an independent state, will get even more stronger, will receive economic development when it becomes the strong and powerful state. However the future generations should not forget it. Therefore these ten years should be analyzed. Today our historians, as a rule, analyze last centuries, write works, receive scientific degrees. Against it there can not be objections as for us each page of our history matters. However this page, this decennial page of our history, I think, is the most important period for our people, for the future generations. In the sense that it is the tragic period, the heavy period, but at the same time our people due to the wisdom, the will has gone through this period and has overcome these difficulties. Therefore you should write these books furthermore. It is with a satisfaction that I perceive the information provided here, but I think, that our work does not come to an end by this. It is necessary to continue this work, and we annually should have new and new works in this area. I reiterate once again, that these works should not leave in circulation of 500 or 1000, 2000 copies. It is not necessary, that these books were so beautifully, are made gracefully out. For the student, the young man the information in this book is important. I do not object to. It as a whole testifies to a high level of our publishing facilities, and we should show it. But we do not have still such means to issue 10 thousand copies of such books. And here on a simple paper, in a simple bind it is possible to let out and give to people 10 thousand copies of books. I speak not only about it. I speak about all. In some cases the author considers, that it has written the book, has printed it in a graceful design, - now it became fashionable, - has given, has presented it to the relatives, and his functions have ended with this.

Not each author is especially interested in that his work, the book written by him have reached broad masses. However the author of the present work, the author of the original book, first of all, should try, that his work, his ideas have reached broad masses. As within 70 years our history disfigured oneself. Today we have lived ten years of the state independence, we enter the eleventh year, and it is impossible to suppose, that someone, after ten, fifteen, twenty years, again has deformed her. Books, the works based on arguments, proofs therefore should be created. Many people written history of this decade, - I see, the majority present here has scientific degrees, they love very much scientific degrees, - many and many people can receive scientific degrees, can become professors, perhaps, to receive other ranks, all can be. To tell the truth, it has no basic value for me, it is important for me, that the history would have been written.

Ramiz Mehdiyev informed us about forthcoming days, actions. I think, that these actions can be accepted. However now and always before an anniversary the high spirits should be observed. It is necessary to create it. It is necessary to create it in our MASS-MEDIA, on radio, TV, in our work collectives, higher educational institutions, high schools.. It is necessary to create it that people would have been in good mood not only the 18 October, but also everyday, till the last day our tenth anniversary. It, naturally, will promote the greater rallying of people in our society.

Last decade, I think, is the achievement of each Azerbaijani, each citizen of Azerbaijan. First, this is the invaluable property of all our people, and second, each person has contributed to it his own. It is impossible to deny anybody`s mite, anybody`s role. At the same time it is not necessary to exaggerate someone`s activity, as they say. All should be authentic, truthful, objectively. At last it is our national holiday. I think that today for independent Azerbaijan there is no holiday dearer. Therefore it should please, inspire and rally our people equally. We should not admit recurrence of the facts which we have been observing in the course of the last years, - the partition of people to authority, and opposition, the opposition does not follow the way laid by authority, and the authority disagrees with opposition. If each of us really shares national ideas, means, this holiday, this anniversary should rally even more our people, approach people to each other, irrespective of their political views. I want to tell, that this decennial anniversary, holiday should create at our people the friendly, warm attitude to each other. As the head of the Azerbaijan state, as the President, I want it very much, I put for this purpose all efforts, therefore I speak here about it.

I hope that we will carry out also those actions which are envisaged for forthcoming days, all together we will celebrate the holiday on October, 18 with good mood and we will achieve a promotion. We are on the threshold of this holiday. Generally speaking, celebrating this decennial, we should not look at all through pink glasses. The truth should remain truth. Today there are achievements that have been noted. But there are a lot of lacks. In the retorts I have told about it. I reiterate once again, that there are a lot of lacks, there are a lot of mistakes in the work of authorities, and some have lot of negative features. Our major problem consists in improvement of the way of life, well-being of people - I mean all our people, - in this area we have still to resolve many problems.

One cannot to consider, that we have achieved everything.

Naturally, while carrying out this decennial anniversary all of us are disturbed most of all by the fact that a part of the Azerbaijani territory is under occupation. More than one million of our compatriots fled from the homelands, live in tents in heavy conditions. However it is a reality of history. We first of all should try to help more in these days to these people, our citizens, in particular people living in conditions of refugees and internally displaced persons, to take care of them and pay them attention. The human is such a complex being that some cases a good word can be is assistance to him. Therefore I demand from all people working in authorities from up to the bottom, taking place on posts, to care of people, to show them the kind attitude.

In particular, it is necessary to render any feasible help to people living in heavy conditions, people living in tents, people living in position of refugees, families of war victims, invalids of war. However, at the same time, we are obliged to console them, to be near to them, to cheer them up.

I think, that we, having gone through these intense ten years, trying these ten years to put an end to the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict, shall be and continue our work henceforth. I believe that we will cope with this disaster, we will necessarily overcome it. Refugees, internally displaced people will return to their homelands. Peace will be established. To tell the truth, this business is tightened. To tell the truth, it appeared more difficultly, than we assumed. But we will achieve it.

I hope that in the forthcoming years of our independence we will be able to declare these successes.

I hope, that all citizens of Azerbaijan will join our today`s conversation, the ideas stated here, and all of us together will decently celebrate the tenth anniversary of the state independence of Azerbaijan as a great holiday. Thank you.