To the Press Workers of the Republic of Azerbaijan - Baku, July 19, 1998

Distinguished press workers!

I congratulate you on the occasion of the 22nd of July - Day of National Press and I convey my sincere wishes to each of you.

The Azerbaijani press has made its outstanding contributions to the formation, development and preservation of high morals values, social and political ideals and culture, and has turned into the spokesman of the wishes of the people.

Mass media is the main means of democracy and transparency. Since gaining independence the Republic of Azerbaijan, which has chosen the universal values, legal and secular state building as a development model, advocated the protection of human rights, freedom of speech and press as the most important duty. Multilateral press and information system has been created in Azerbaijan. Hundreds of mass media organs-TV and radio companies, news agencies, newspapers and magazines operate freely. All necessary measures have been taken for their independent establishment, free activity and development.

Continance of the advanced traditions of the Azerbaijani press, and their enrichment with the present international experiemce, improvement of material and technical base of mass media and raise of the level of professionalism, formation of the civil society and its development into productive use in the implementation of democratic reforms, demands from the government and press workers special efforts and strict liability. Our state appreciates the work of journalists, which requires an unusual work and does everything possible to solve the existing problems in this sphere, and will do its best in the future, too.

I want to express my confidence that the army of independent journalists working in mass media of Azerbaijan will demonstrate high professionalism, objectivity, integrity, real civil and public position in conveying the news about the events in our country and abroad to public attention.

Heydar Aliyev,
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan