Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the solemn meeting devoted to the Day of Solidarity of the world Azerbaijanis - December 27, 1997

Dear compatriots, sisters and brothers!

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!

I cordially congratulate you on the occasion of the Day of Solidarity of the world Azerbaijanis.

On behalf of you, of the citizens of Azerbaijan, and of the Azerbaijan government I want to convey our best wishes and holiday greetings to the Azerbaijanis of the entire world from this grant hall.

All my thoughts and wishes devoted to the day of Solidarity of the world Azerbaijanis have found their reflection in my appeal which just was read. Therefore, perhaps there is no need in my speech. However, I am in front of you to say a few words.

The Azerbaijanis have been living, creating for thousand years in their historical and ethnical motherland Azerbaijan and mading their contribution to the world civilization. As result of the wars, revolutions, military conflicts, various social and political processes Azerbaijan was divided into parts, and a part of the Azerbaijanis was driven away, exiled from their native land. They were separated from each other. Some others left their native lands and settled in other countries in order to find jobs, or get education. Thus, from the grand Azerbaijan the Azerbaijanis scattered all over the world. Today the Azerbaijanis live in most countries of the world. There are big Azerbaijani communities in Russia, in other countries if CIS, in the Caucasus, in Georgia, Daghestan, Iran, Turkey, Europe, America, and in the countries of the East. The feeling of patriotism grows day by day among the representatives of those communities. These communities try to establish much closer relations with their historical motherland and to strengthen the feeling of solidarity with their compatriots.

The Azerbaijanis living in their motherland have always thought of their compatriots living in other countries. We have always wanted to establish contacts with them, tried to express our solidarity. However, in the past, when we were a part of the giant Soviet Union we lost those contacts or they were too limited.

By the end of 1980`s, when the Soviet Union began to grow weak, the people of Azerbaijan took energetic efforts for establishing contacts with their compatriots, brothers and sisters. Exactly this wish, this dream, these attempts made the young Azerbaijanis destroy the engineering structures, barbed wires of the frontier troops of the Soviet Union built in order to separate us from the Azerbaijanis living in Iran and Turkey. The December of 1989 was a historical event. Those days, from the both banks of the River Araz the Azerbaijanis moved forward each other. Then the hopes and aspirations of centuries were fulfilled. And today with a feeling of great satisfaction we can say that we have got all the opportunities of free and unlimited communication with our compatriots, relatives and close people living in other countries.

Attaching an exceptional importance to the events of the December of 1989, we adopted a decision of the Parliament of Nakhichevan on the 16th of December on declaration of the 31st of December as the Day of Solidarity of the world Azerbaijanis.

On the basics of the decision adopted in Nakhichevan by us, later in Baku there was adopted an identical decision by the Parliament of Azerbaijan. Thus, since the December of 1991 31st of December is celebrated as the Day of Solidarity of the world Azerbaijanis. It`s very important for us because there live millions of Azerbaijanis in various countries. The historical mission of our independent Republic of Azerbaijan is to call all of them to solidarity, to take the lead in this issue.

I hope that this day, declared a holiday six years ago, will be celebrated annually by the Azerbaijanis all over the world, and it will inspire them to a much more intensive activity for the sake of uniting the Azerbaijanis, for strengthening the contacts between each other and for unity.

It is to the point to say that Azerbaijan will celebrate the sixth anniversary of its sovereignty in one of these days. For six years we have been living in conditions of independence. All these years we have been subjected to trials and rough examinations. The most important is that we have managed to safeguard our independence, our national freedom and Azerbaijan as a democratic, constitutional and secular state has occupied its worth place in the world community.

It is necessary to remind another remarkable national and historical event. Twenty five years ago, in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, the Palace of the Republic was built. Today we celebrate the festivities just in that Palace. It was erected in 1971-1972`s. This grand palace was built within two years and put into exploitation in the December of 1972. It is already a quarter of a century this palace has served our people and our Republic. It has turned to one of the symbols of our country and one of the most precious properties of Azerbaijan, its people and its culture.

I remember that period. Those who remember that period know well that the territory where the Palace is now and its surroundings were the most unattractive part of Baku. We destroyed the buildings which spoilt the view of the city, were old, then we built this Palace. We built a big square with pools and fountains, planted trees and flowers in front of it. And it is already 25 years that the Palace and its square are places of rest, where the people rest and spent their leisure time.

I congratulate you on this event. I think that you can not find a man in Azerbaijan who has not visited the Palace within these 25 years. So many solemn events, splendid concerts, meetings have been held in this Palace, it has become very native to people.

There is a group of builders in the hall, who worked day and night while building this Palace in 1971- 1972`s. I asked to invite them to this ceremony, too.

I remember those years. I myself controled the process of construction. I often visited the construction side and got interested in the construction process. I know what a construction is. There are all kinds of equipments, automatical and mechanical devices under the Palace which provide the work in the Palace. All this was created within two years. Twenty five years have passed, and again I want to express my gratitude to the creators of the Palace, and to the group of builders headed by Alish Lemberanskiy. I thank them all and congratulate on the occasion of this event.

It is a grand building. This Palace has already been serving people for 25 years without a repair. It is an evidence of the high quality work. I will also note that the people who served in the Palace for 25 and the whole stuff have made much for the Palace and they have preserved it. While entering here, a woman came up to me. She has already worked here for 25 years, her name is Mrs. Dilara. She came here at her young age. I feel great respect to those people, and I express my respect and tribute to those who built this Palace. I thank them all.

Dear friends!

Celebrating the Day of Solidarity it is important to remember that we laid the foundation of the future Republic of Azerbaijan within just 6 years. Today the Republic of Azerbaijan is the motherland and stronghold of all the Azerbaijanis of the world. I`m sure that the Azerbaijanis who live in different countries of the world will constantly demonstrate their solidarity with the independent Republic of Azerbaijan, and our unity will grow day by day.

I`m glad that the Azerbaijani self consciousness has already left its scent in history. The Azerbaijan language is the mother tongue of the Azerbaijani people and the official language of the Republic of Azerbaijan, it has occupied its worthy place among the languages of the world. National self consciousness and feelings of patriotism of the Azerbaijanis all over the world grow constantly. All this is the symbol of our growing solidarity. I`m sure that this process will highly develop in future.

We are at the threshold of the new year. We believe that in 1998 Azerbaijan will take new successful steps and the level of life of the Azerbaijani people will improve, the achievements in all the spheres will be much higher than they were in 1997. Using the chance, I congratulate You on the occasion of the New Year. I wish you and all the citizens of Azerbaijan happiness and success.

The 6 years of independence of Azerbaijan evokes the feelings of pride in each of us. The people of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani nation has always lived, lives and will live. The Azerbaijani language, our state language is alive, and it will always live. Azerbaijan has always lived, it lives and it will always live as the independent Republic of Azerbaijan.