The speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev after the concert of the masters of art of two countries within the Georgian culture days in Azerbaijan - Republic Palace , May 22, 1996

I  sincerely greet  our Georgian friends visiting Azerbaijan for  the Georgian culture  days in Azerbaijan.

In spite of some difficulties art lives. In all times people lived in contact with art- songs, music, dances and continue to live with them. In Azerbaijan and in Georgia the situation wasn’t easy but they  will further be in close  relations.

Art  always brought people together and united them.

Now,   both  Azerbaijan and Georgia, live  the period of difficulties associated with the formation of the state independence, difficulties in  transition to a completely new socio-economic system, and  difficulties of  losses of   Georgian , as well as Azerbaijani people. In spite of all abovementioned  art brings us together and unites us in friendship.
I am glad that today our old and nice traditions manifest themselves. We  again  sincerely and  kindly welcome masters of  culture and art of  Georgian people and of independent Georgia.

I heartily welcome you and congratulate you on your performance. Georgian culture was always  highly appreciated in Azerbaijan. This culture and  art is very close and dear  to us. Today getting acquainted again  with Georgian art, culture,  music and dances, meeting good performers of Georgian  music and dances we are fascinated once more how skillfully you  represent  your  culture.

I heartily greet you, and I am glad that you  visited our country. In the  past we had   always  friendly meetings . Sometime there was a break but now I think we have restored our nice traditions. In Tbilisi, Georgia  Azerbaijani culture days were held  and now in Azerbaijan Georgian culture days are being held.

My friend,  the president of Georgia Eduard Shevarnadze was here some time  ago and very recently in March I visited Tbilisi, Georgia  with the invitation of the President of Georgia Mr. Shevarnadze.

We had very interesting talks, exchange of views and made very fruitful negotiations. We signed many important documents, and laid a  strong foundation of eternal friendship between Azerbaijan and Georgian peoples.

You, masters of art help all of us, in fact bring our nations closer, tightly unite and create opportunities  for reinforcement of  our friendship, cooperation, and join to get out of the difficult period of history for both Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Today  both Azerbaijani and Georgian masters of art perform here. And they performed as one  group. Even it was difficult to differentiate performers whether they were from Azerbaijan or Georgia. Today you all performed excellently. I  heartily applauded all of you. Even  it is difficult to say whom I applauded more or  less. Anyway my hands pain from applauding.

Today here both Azerbaijani and Georgian music was performed. Georgians sang Azerbaijani music  and Azerbaijanis Georgian ones. This is quite natural. This is very common case for us. It is true that we have remained apart from it. But we accustomed to kindness. Because we inherited it from our ancestors. Our ancestors laid foundation of our strong friendship. And we develop and strengthen this friendship.

I state once more.You, masters of art,  do  important and great works in this respect.I send my  warm greetings to Georgian people, Georgia,  Tbilisi,  to my friend Eduard Shevarnadze, to  all sisters and brothers and to  all citizens of Georgia. I express my most sincere wishes, health,  prosperity, and successes to them in  new life  establishment,  and in the establishment of  independent and  free Georgia. 

You all look beautiful, you performed well and all of you are nice and amazing. I think that the feedback  of audience is  quite convincing  proof for it. I hug and kiss  all of you and wish you health, prosperity and happiness.