New Year congratulation of the Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev to the Azerbaijan people - December 31, 1995

Dear compatriots!

Dear sisters, brothers, citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic!

I congratulate you on forthcoming new 1996 year, I wish you strong health, happiness and successes in your work.

We live last minutes of 1995 year. 1995 entered into our history as a year of great achievements, significant events in a life of the Azerbaijan Republic, our people. The greatest achievement of 1995 is that the Azerbaijan people even more strengthened the state independence, the Azerbaijan Republic lived one more year as the independent state.

In 1995, we accepted the first Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic which we dreamed for long years. This is a historical event. Azerbaijan finished the fourth year of the state independence with the Constitution of the independent state. We elected the first democratic parliament of independent Azerbaijan; it was already formed and operates. The acceptance of the first democratic Constitution of Azerbaijan and the election of the first democratic parliament of the country are the important stages in development of democracy in Azerbaijan, they create a good basis for the future independent Azerbaijan. Independent Azerbaijan again showed to the whole world that our people were going on its way with confidence. In Azerbaijan democratic legal state, democratic civil society is being built, in our republic all requirements of democracy were established and necessary condition for their development in the future, for an independent, free life of people, protection of their rights and free execution of desires, dreams of each citizen were provided.

The acceptance of the Azerbaijan`s Constitution and the election of the first democratic parliament show the end of the heavy, difficult sociopolitical processes proceeded in a life of the republic within four years. These processes created many difficulties for existence of the independent state in Azerbaijan. And consequently, the settlement of all these problems and at last the acceptance of the Constitution once again demonstrated eternity, firmness of the state independence of Azerbaijan to the whole world. Finishing 1995, we with feeling of great satisfaction can tell that the state independence of Azerbaijan was protected, kept, and a good condition was created for its irreversibility, for the Azerbaijan people to live in national freedom eternally.

One of the important features of 1995 is that our people lived this year in a regime of cease-fire, in peace and safe condition. The agreement on a regime of cease-fire which was reached in 1994 at war continued more than seven years, in the conflict started by Armenia as a result of military aggression against Azerbaijan, was observed in 1995. Passing the last year in a safe atmosphere, without fire, blood, living our people in condition of peace is one of the great achievements of last years.

In 1995, living in a regime of cease-fire, we carried out consecutive activity for the termination of war, achieving peace, withdrawing armed forces of an aggressor from the occupied territories, providing the territorial integrity of republic. Today, it is possible to tell that we have achieved the certain successes. Observance of a regime of cease-fire within a year proves that we could convince the world community, and also the circles of Armenia, which carried out aggression against Azerbaijan, of importance of acceptance of the necessary decisions for the conclusion of peace. At the same time, the negotiations consistently conducted by us within one year at various levels, in various frameworks, accelerated our actions directed on peace, provided necessary conditions for the solution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh) conflict.

I am hopeful that achievements of 1995 create an opportunity for the conclusion of a final peace agreement, and effectively taking advantage of them, in 1996, we can save the country from military aggression, we can withdraw the occupational forces from our occupied grounds, restore territorial integrity of republic, we can return the Azerbaijan citizens expelled from their native grounds to the native homes. Our activity carried out in this direction at a level of the international organizations - in structures of the United Nations, within the limits of the OSCE Minsk Group, in other international organizations, and also our negotiations conducted with head, representatives of superpowers, and our efforts have come to these result.

Talking about the work done in this area in 1995 will take a lot of time. But I would also like to note that together with negotiations in the international organizations, my personal negotiations, agreements with the President of the USA mister Bill Clinton, with the Russian President mister Boris Yeltsin, with the Turkish President mister Suleyman Demirel which last years have shown the initiative for the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, and heads of other big states, show that all world community, the international organizations, including the leading countries of the world, wish the establishment of peace in our region and they try to carry out activity in this direction, and I am sure that they will try henceforth as well.

Our greatest achievement in 1995 is that the end was completely put to struggle of various groups for authority, post, to destruction of Azerbaijan by separate armed groups which led Azerbaijan to internal chaos. Today, on the eve of New Year, I again wish to note that besides military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, the main reason of heavy situation of our republic, people is struggle of separate groups, formations, units, forces for authority, their personal ambitions, illegal actions for the sake of achievement of their mercenary purposes. Their illegal actions have led the people to such condition.

Dear compatriots, you are witnesses of all these. In 1993, the Azerbaijan Republic was close to the civil war, oppositional groups in Azerbaijan, including, unfortunately, the groups belonging to different political parties, organizations in 1994 aspired to break stability, to destroy statehood. All of these are bright example to what I said.

These were prevented by us. But, despite it, in 1995 such attempts were continued. As these attempts proceeded and because of lack of stable situation people lost hope for the future living under fear. There was heavy condition in the republic. In the beginning of 1995 these criminal groups again tried to realize their criminal plans. In March attempts of revolution again were undertaken in Azerbaijan, but they were prevented. But it was not a lesson for them too. Enemy forces inside Azerbaijan, the external forces undertaking provocative actions to break independence of the country, to prevent the development of republic, again continued their intentions. After March events of 1995, attempts of realization of different terrorism acts, attempts to blow up bridges, other provocative actions and attempts of one group to realize a revolution were undertaken in Azerbaijan. And all of them were prevented. During the prevention of all these crimes and their investigations in the republic, the new criminal groupings, the armed groups were revealed. They were also neutralized, liquidated. Necessary lawful measures were taken against them.

As a result of all these phenomena, both the public of our republic and also the world community realized that the Azerbaijan state was able to protect its statehood, and in the Azerbaijan Republic it is possible to create conditions for a normal life of people. As a result of these measures, sociopolitical stability, safety was established in our republic. Necessary conditions were provided for carrying out processes of the state construction and reforms in a national economy.

Thus, one of the significant features of 1995 is that for last years, groups outside and inside the republic wishing to destroy the country, to dismember it, to create chaos, to force the people to live under fear were neutralized, liquidated and measures within the limits of the law were taken against them. Their patrons living abroad and forces which now secretly live in republic, cherishing some hopes, already should understand that their activity will not give any results. Stable condition was established in the country. Once again I note, the Azerbaijan state is able to protect itself, our citizens can live, realize their dreams and desires freely.

In 1995, the Azerbaijan Republic undertook many measures for strengthening its positions on international arena, and it yielded very good results. The participation of our republic in meetings of the international organizations and the statement on Azerbaijan`s positions, establishment of mutual relations with many states of the world and their continuation, visits of head of the republic to different countries and visits of heads of many states of the world, delegations to Azerbaijan, the reached agreements and as a result of these, the establishment of bilateral, mutually advantageous relationships of our republic with many countries of the world strengthened the position of the Azerbaijan Republic, our independent state on a global scale, introduced Azerbaijan as the independent state to the world community.

From this point of view, I would like to note the most important events in international sphere. 50-years anniversary of a victory over German fascism in the Second World War was celebrated all over the world, including in Azerbaijan Republic. The high-ranking delegation of the Azerbaijan Republic participated and represented our country in events on a world scale in London, Paris, Moscow.

50-years anniversary of the United Nations, which was founded after the Second World War for maintenance of peace, safety in the world, is one of the important events held in 1995 in international community. The Azerbaijan Republic participating as the equal in rights state in 50-years anniversary of the United Nations decently represented our country. Meetings, negotiations conducted with many heads of states in these events, once again strengthened a position of the Azerbaijan Republic on a global scale.

In 1995, we realized a number of measures to develop the economy of our republic, implementation of economic reforms and realization of democratization in all spheres of the country. Including, we carried out a number of measures for development of our republic on the way of market economy. As a result of these measures, taking into consideration existence and development of democracy in the republic, carrying out reforms according to market economy, the economic and financial centers of the world have increased the positive attitude to Azerbaijan. International Monetary Fund, World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other economic, financial centers of the world have even more strengthened their relations with Azerbaijan and increased their assistance to our republic.

As a result of our negotiations, meetings held during this period, long-term credits have been allocated for realization of economic reforms in Azerbaijan, development of economy of our country, and we already use them. The European Union, rendering assistance to Azerbaijan, helped us in providing our country with food and this aid proceeds. Our relations with EU should be regarded as a new step on a way of the acceptance of Azerbaijan to this union.

We have opened Azerbaijan for the world economy and we wish to connect our country with the world economy, we carry out the process of integration into the world economy. And consequently, our meetings, negotiations in the important economic centers of the world in 1995 and widely showing the potential of Azerbaijan to the economic centers of the world assume great importance. From this point of view, the economic conference in the Adam Smith Institute in London, devoted to Azerbaijan, a big conference organized by the World Bank in Paris in connection with an investment of capital into Azerbaijan and other similar actions are significant events for the development of economy in our country. I believe that we can rationally take advantage of them.

As you know, in the end of 1994 our republic signed the oil contract with the famous oil companies of the world on rational use of the natural resources. This contract has caused a wide resonance, different opinions in the world. On the one hand, it has shown Azerbaijan`s great opportunities, attracted the large companies of the world to our republic. On the other hand, it was exerted pressure on us and appeared negative altitudes in different countries, circles. But, despite it, we continued to go on our way. In 1995, necessary works for realization of "Contract of century" were carried out, they yielded results. One of the practical results of these works became the important decision signed in October, 1995: The decision on construction in Azerbaijan of two oil pipelines for transportation of the first oil extracted on the basis of the contract – one oil pipeline will pass through Russia and another via territory of Georgia to the Black Sea. This decision has caused huge interest in the world, drawn the attention of the world states and as a whole has been very highly valuated.

For the development of oil deposits of Azerbaijan, in November, 1995 one more contract was signed on exploitation of oil deposit "Garabagh". Necessary measures were taken for realization of this contract.

Thus, forces, which wished to prevent our works on a world scale, which we carried out with the purpose of using our economic potential, could not realize their intentions. We go on our way with confidence and I hope that these measures will continue in 1996 and give new results for economy of Azerbaijan.

In 1995, we made some steps to develop the economy of our republic, growing well-being of our people and accepted set of laws, programs, including, laws for the implementation of economic reforms in agrarian sector and they are already carrying out. The privatization program was accepted, it is already at a level of the law. The privatization program will be widely realized in 1996. Other measures are undertaken and will be undertaken. On the one hand, they create good conditions for use of internal opportunities, huge economic potential of Azerbaijan, and on the other hand, favorable conditions are created for integration of Azerbaijan into the world economy, attraction of investments into the country from the developed states of the world. We will follow this rate in the future as well, and I hope that the year of 1996 will be the year of results of these measures.

A lot of works were carried out in 1995. And therefore, I noted that this year would be included into our history as a year of great achievements and significant events. Being based on it, we cherish big hopes to 1996. I hope that our most serious problem – rescuing our people from the military aggression of Armenia, the war termination, clearing the occupied lands, returning more than one million citizens expelled from the native homes to their native lands, - will find its solution in 1996.

As in the previous years in 1996, we will try to solve this problem by peace way. We will continue measures, which have been taken by us till now, in this field. We consider that the good basis has been created for this purpose, and we will manage to achieve desirable successes in this sphere. Our people can be sure that it is very important problem for me as the President of republic. It is a sense of my life. I will try to carry out this duty and the duty before the Native land, people up to the end of my life.

Our economic situation is very difficult. We live in a transition period. All these phenomena had created big difficulties in economy, well-being of people. These are processes which concern not only our republic; these exist as well as in a life of those republics which pass from one economic system to another. But I wish to say also that we will cope with these processes. I am sure that those measures, which are planned for 1996, will create bases for gradual progress in economy and new conditions for improvement in people`s welfare. I am sure of it, I trust in it, and we will begin our work in 1996 with this confidence.

Last years, our republic is in heavy position, lives in condition of war; we have more than one million refugees which live in hard condition. We always thing, worry about their situation and their returning to native places. As I already noted, our activity is directed basically on it, and you can be sure that in 1996 we will increase our efforts in this sphere.

Thus, we enter into 1996 with great hopes, dreams, and I would like each citizen of Azerbaijan to be in the vein of optimism. We have bases for optimism. Because, I repeat, we have strengthened our independence, achieved political stability inside the country. We have saved people of many criminal groupings, gangs, criminal events. We have created an atmosphere of security, condition for quiet living of our people, and we will create them as well as in the future. And consequently, there are bases for optimism.

Undoubtedly, we should not be satisfied with achievements of 1995, personally I am not satisfied. Speaking about these achievements, I want to create confidence of the next day in our people, nation. And we have bases for the confidence. Once again I emphasize, if we prevented civil war in 1993, rescued our republic from several attempts of revolution in 1994, could prevent some revolutions in 1995 and eliminated some criminal groupings, somewhat cleared the republic from these criminal groupings, created feeling of the general solidarity, national solidarity in people, we have all rights, bases to cherish great hopes for the future.

It makes me happy that people already live peacefully, friendly. Feelings of rage, enmity, fear of last years in the country, have already been liquidated. Although, we have not achieved everything, we have obtained a progress, achieved much. The acceptance of the first Constitution of the independent Azerbaijan Republic by a national referendum and election of the first parliament of the Azerbaijan Republic on democratic bases show existence of national, civil solidarity, national unity among our people, in a life of our republic.

But at the same time, we should not lose a feeling of vigilance. Our republic has not been rescued from many dangers yet. Carrying out independent policy on a global scale by the Azerbaijan Republic worries many circles. Attempts to put an end to our independence or to limit it are still made. These are intentions not only of various circles in different states, but also, unfortunately, intentions, plans of the separate groups belonging to our people and living both inside the republic and outside our country. Therefore, our primary goal is the protection of the state independence, and today I assure you that as the President I will always stand on guard of it, I consider it as the sacred duty for myself.

In the republic, there are forces which wish to create chaos, again to strengthen aggression of Armenia and to exert pressure on us to compel the republic to accept some conditions. We should not forget them too. And therefore, we should strengthen our unity even more. We should think always of our basic purpose, goal and never forget it. Therefore we must heighten vigilance.

We should protect our achievements, and at the same time we should know that there are many obligations before us, and a way, on which we will go in the future, is very difficult, hard still. Therefore, on the one hand, we should be sober-minded, ready to prevent any provocation, negative altitude to our republic. Each citizen should know it.

Our citizens should live with feeling of patriotism, protection of the Native land, national freedom, national originality. These feelings should make the meaning of the life of each citizen, each Azerbaijani. Just we can unite even more strong our people and realize our duties.

Today, on this New Year`s Eve, I want to say that a part of our population lives in difficult, heavy material conditions in connection with heavy social and economic situation of our republic. We know it. It does not leave personally me in peace. It worries me. But our people should be sure that we do everything depending on us for liquidation of all these difficulties, for improvement of welfare of all layers of our population and I will do all my best for this purpose as well as henceforth. You can be sure that we have opportunities for their achievement and in 1996 we will take necessary measures to get use of this potential.

In a word, we see off 1995 with great satisfaction, and we meet 1996 with optimism. On the occasion of New Year I wish all of you optimism, good intentions, cheerful mood.

I convey my New Year congratulations and greetings to soldiers, officers of the Azerbaijan national army who are in front zones, on guard of independence of Azerbaijan, our lands, to our sons serving in National army. Dear fighters, soldiers of our republic, from the bottom of my heart I congratulate you with New Year and I wish to express confidence that you will be bravely on guard of borders, grounds of independent Azerbaijan as well as henceforth.

In last years the Azerbaijan people have given martyrs for the sake of protection of independence of our republic, our grounds, national freedom. In last years brave sons of our people make martyr of themselves, fighting against forces undertaking attempts of revolution. On this New Year`s Eve, I recollect all martyrs with feeling of huge gratitude. May Allah have mercy on their souls! May they spend their time in heaven as they wished. Once again I declare, heroism of our martyrs will eternally live in our hearts, in memory of the future generations. From the bottom of my heart I congratulate martyr families with New Year. Dear compatriots! Your pain, grief is pain and grief of all our people, of mine. We are always together with you. I congratulate you, at the same time, I express my gratitude to you that you had such children who had became martyrs, protecting honor of Azerbaijan. You can be proud of it.

I address my New Year congratulations, greetings to our citizens who live in position of refugees, IDPs. Many of them live in tents. Perhaps, they even do not have TV. Probably, they will hear my voice by radio or somehow in another way, my words will be heard by them. You live in heavy condition, and this constantly worries us, hurts us. But your patience creates feeling of pride for us.

Once again with your endurance, you show the patience of our country, our people to the whole world. You can be sure that you will come back to your grounds, native homes, to those regions where you and your ancestors lived. You can be sure of it. You suffered all this, I am grateful to you for it. I congratulate you. Be optimists. Meet this New Year with optimism, and be sure that 1996 will bring all of us great achievements.

I address my New Year congratulations to all Azerbaijanis who live outside Azerbaijan. Today is the December 31st - Day of Solidarity of Azerbaijanis allover the world, it is very significant day. Azerbaijanis now live in many states of the world. Day by day, as Azerbaijanis, they show love, respect for the independent Azerbaijan Republic. This is a significant phenomenon for the independent Azerbaijan. I hope that this process will develop from day to day, and Azerbaijanis living in many countries of the world realize themselves as Azerbaijanis even more safely, become solidary, supporter to each other. All of them will be together solidary with independent Azerbaijan Republic. And we, the Azerbaijanis living in independent Azerbaijan, are always solidary with all Azerbaijanis of the world, we always live their cares, we think of them, we express them our respect and esteem. Dear Azerbaijanis, not depending on what continent, in what country you live, I sincerely welcome you, I congratulate you with New Year!

Once again, I congratulate all Azerbaijan people, citizens of Azerbaijan from the bottom of my heart! I wish each our citizen of health, happiness and successes in their work. I am sure that the independent Azerbaijan Republic, the Azerbaijan state, democratic Azerbaijan will undertake a new historical step in 1996.

Happy New Year, dear sisters, brothers, dear compatriots!