Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the ceremony dedicated to the 150th anniversary of outstanding Kazakh poet Abay Kunanbayev - Almati, August 9, 1995

Distinguished president of Kazakhistan, Nursultan Nazarbayev!

Dear Ladies and gentlemen!

Dear Kazakh sisters and brothers!

I came here at the invitation of our great friend Nursultan Nazarbayev for conveying the friendship of the Azerbaijani people to the fraternal Kazakh people and share the joy of this holiday. I thought that only president Nursultan Nazarbayev and Secretary General of the UNESCO Mr. Federico Mayor would deliver speeches at this ceremony. Then, I saw that everybody is making speeches. I thought to myself, why I wasn`t offered to make a speech. At last I decided to address Nursultan Abisevich. How can it be possible? Everybody speaks, makes a speech, except me. Have I come here for keeping silence? He said they had other plans, but they didn't come off. If so, I also want to make a speech.

I came to this rostrum for conveying the cordial greetings, respect and love of the Azerbaijani people to great Abay, to his heritage, as well as the fraternal Kazakh people and the holy Kazakh land. Dear sisters and brothers, dear friends, I congratulate you with all my heart on the occasion of this holiday. I wish all the citizens of Kazakhstan and the Kazakh people happiness, prosperity and success in overcoming all the problems and duties in this difficult transitional period.

Abay and his creative activity belong to the whole mankind and all the nations. Of course, it`s the happiness of the Kazakh people. Because it has such a prominent son, scientist, enlightener and he chose the right way to lead his country to happiness and prosperity. Along with it, he belongs to the whole mankind, as well as to the Azerbaijani people. Abay`s creative activity is highly appreciated in Azerbaijan as well. The Azerbaijani people and all the citizens are well aware of Abay`s creative activity. Most of our poets and writers translated his works. His poems were published in our republic. We also celebrate this holiday as a holiday of culture and friendship.

Abay`s creative activity is investigated today. That`s why I think that this holiday is the revival and national independence day of the Kazakh people. Abay just thought and wrote about it.

The very day has come. The Kazakh people gained national independence and freedom. This nation owns an immense territory and lives in this territory as they want. I consider that Abay`s holiday is the holiday of solemnity of the realization of his ideas. I congratulate you with all my heart on the occasion of this day and wish all of you happiness and prosperity.

The Kazakh people faced hard times. All of us, including independent Azerbaijan, faced this difficulty. But we are sure that you`ll overcome all these difficulties. I`m very glad to speak here from this high rostrum. By the way, I would like to mention that I stood at this place 25 years ago. I`m happy that I have an opportunity to congratulate you just from this place after 25 years.

The Kazakh nation marches on the way leading to the democracy and national state building. This completely coincides with our efforts, plans and desires. We also march on this way. That`s why I am completely sure that you`ll also cover this way successfully as the Azerbaijani nation did. We`ll move forward to develop our culture, science, economy and make our nations happy on the background of the heritage left by Abay and those of the great sons of our nations.

I once more congratulate you on the occassion of this holiday and convey the cordial greetings of the Azerbaijani nation to you.

Long live the Azerbaijan-Kazakh frienship!

Long live the Kazakh - Azerbaijan frienship!

Glory to Abay!

Glory to the Kazakh people!

Glory to the Kazakh land!