Speech of the President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the meeting organized by the Azerbaijani Women`s Society "Sevil" in connection with the International Women`s Day - Musical Theatre after Rashid Behbudov, March 8, 1997

Dear ladies!

I congratulate you on the occasion of the International Women`s Day. I wish you good health, happiness and successes. I congratulate particularly the mothers of martyrs and soldiers.

Women have great duties in the society. They always do their do and play a leading role in the society.

A lot of women were forced to leave their homes as a result of the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan. Most of them live in tents now. However, in such hard conditions they implement into life their maternal duties, bring up children and contribute to our state. I wish the best especially to those women, who live in such hard conditions.

Women are the beauty of the society. There is no life without women. The Azerbaijani women differ in intelligence, talent and beauty. We are proud of our women. I thank all our women for their useful activity and contributions in Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan is an independent country now. During the transitional period we have a lot of difficulties. They urge us to work hard and be united. Women play an important role in this field. Women always support peace and goodwill.

In such a transitional period, when some of our territories have been occupied and over one million our citizens are refugees, we need solidarity more. In order to pass this period, restore our territorial integrity mutual understanding must be established in our society. Our society must be united for our main tasks, such as strengthening and developing our country, restoring our territorial integrity and liberating our occupied lands. Women play a great role and contribute to the implementation of these tasks.

I remember that thousands of people assembled around the Presidential Palace at night, when I addressed to the nation on TV when some forces attempted to overthrow the Azerbaijani government in October 1994. Seeing many women among those people, I thought how brave and loyal our women are. The people in the square were in a big danger then.

However, they displayed their will that they wanted to maintain our statehood. I can never remember that.

But it is not the only case. Our women are always the pillar of our state. Therefore, I shall always rely on our women. I love you all. I wish you the best. Happy holiday. Thank you.