Congratulation of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the prominent musician and public figure Mstislav Rostropovitch - Baku, March 3, 2002

Dear Mstislav Rostropovich!

I congratulate you, the prominent musician and public figure of today on the occasion of your 75th anniversary and wish you successes in your creative activity.

Virtuoso skill peculiar to your art forms a whole period in the history of the music and set new tasks for the present musicians of different peoples and countries.

You greatly contribute to the socio-political life of different countries with your multisided activity as a matchless musician and humanist. Dialogue among the civilizations, which is very urgent in the period of globalization acquires concrete sketches and turns into a real phenomenon of our life.

You have played a great role in strengthening the international cultural relations and in developing musical art of Azerbaijan in the recent years. Your joint concerns with the State Symphonic Orchestra, lessons in the Baku Music Academy had a great response and were of great importance. All these contribute to the education of growing generation of the Azerbaijani musicians.

Rising to new peaks in your creative activity, you have guarded your self-performance in a number of spheres of the life of the world community. Your joint foundation with the outstanding singer Galina Pavlovna Vischnevskaya your very important activity in the solution of numerous humanitarian problems always serve high ideals of kindness, peace and justice.

Your activity against the violations of human rights is well-known in the world. Your position as a citizen connected with the occupation of a part of the Azerbaijani territory by the neighboring Armenia, your belief in the fair solution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh gives hope to the residents of the tent camps visited by you during your stay in Azerbaijan that soon they will return home.

I hope that your great talent and unexhausted energy will incarnate in your future activity and bring happiness to all your admirers.

With best regards,

Heydar Aliyev,

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

"Azerbaijan" newspaper, March 5, 2002