President Aliyev receives Deputy Prime Minister Hajibala Abutalibov as he submits his resignation
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct. 21
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Hajibala Abutalibov as he submitted his resignation letter.
President Ilham Aliyev said: Hajibala muallim, today you tendered your resignation from the post of Deputy Prime Minister. I want to thank you for the work you have done. You have been working in various positions for many years – as Deputy Prime Minister, for 17 years as the head of the Baku City Executive Authority, and for the past year and a half you have been Deputy Prime Minister again.
I know that you have always been faithful to great leader Heydar Aliyev. You expressed your position in the most difficult times for Heydar Aliyev. Some young people, of course, may not know this, some may forget about it. But I will never forget you expressing vehement protest at the idea of introducing an artificial age limit. At that time, the popular authority of great leader Heydar Aliyev was very high. In order to prevent his future activities, the government bureaucrats introduced this absolutely absurd age limit. If I am not mistaken, a person over 65 years of age could not become president. The great leader was 69 years old at that time. I remember you organizing a protest in front of the parliament and, without being afraid of anyone, openly expressed your position. The threat of repression was very high at the time, and those who tried to prevent Heydar Aliyev from coming to power resorted to various dirty actions. They committed the brutal murder of Heydar Aliyev’s close ally Ajdar Khanbabayev, and when? On the day when Heydar Aliyev was supposed to return from Moscow to Baku. I arrived in Baku a day earlier in order to meet him. In order to prevent his arrival and instill fear, the same group committed the murder of an innocent man, a representative of the intelligentsia, Ajdar Khanbabayev. True, the killers subsequently received a well-deserved punishment and no-one managed to prevent Heydar Aliyev’s return to Azerbaijan. Despite all the dangers, he came to Baku and said his word.
Unlike some of the cowards of today who call themselves “leaders”, he was ready to speak out against any danger and accept any hardships. This is his greatness, and you showed loyalty to the great leader, the Homeland, the state and our people at that time. Because the coming of Heydar Aliyev to power saved us all from a very big disaster. It is no coincidence that the great leader offered you high posts, appointed you as deputy prime minister, then as the head of the Baku City Executive Authority, and prior to that that you worked as the head of the Executive Authority of the Surakhani District of Baku. I remember that your activities at that time were somewhat surprising for some people, because, as I far as know, your doors were always open for people. You were interested in people’s problems, and this was a kind of innovation. Some forget about it, but I don’t, and I have invited you today to tell you about this and let the people of Azerbaijan know.
But life does not stand still, new tasks are being set and new challenges emerge. You have already passed 75 years and, of course, it is necessary to give way to the younger generation. Therefore, I appreciate your request. I believe that those in power who have reached retirement age, who are over 70, will probably follow your example. At least I hope so. You are also working hard in the New Azerbaijan Party. I believe that we should continue our activities as part of the party in the future too. I wish you every success in your future endeavors and express appreciation for the work you have done.
Hajibala Abutalibov: Thank you very much! First of all, my love and respect for the great leader began during my studies in Leningrad. True, I did not meet him then. But all Azerbaijanis were proud to see Heydar Aliyev’s photo in second place among members of the Politburo. Everybody called us Aliyev’s followers. We were proud of that. Heydar Aliyev was brought to power by the people. The Azerbaijani people could see salvation from the misfortune they found themselves in only and only in Heydar Aliyev. The great leader sacrificed himself to save Azerbaijan, which was in a difficult situation. He worked day and night, he worked by the light of a lamp in Nakhchivan, he worked in cold conditions and was looking for ways to take Azerbaijan out of the quagmire. Having come to power, Heydar Aliyev invited me, said that the situation in Surakhani was very difficult and appointed me as head of the Executive Authority of this district. There is always a day in a person’s life that is considered the happiest in his life. My happiest day is when I shook hands with Heydar Aliyev. When I worked in Surakhani, you and Heydar Aliyev had just returned from America.
President Ilham Aliyev: He had returned from treatment. It was 1999 – I remember those days.
Hajibala Abutalibov: Yes, sacrifices were made. Three days later, he arrived in Surakhani, opened the Heydar Mosque and a month later invited me to his office and said, “I am now appointing you as Deputy Prime Minister. A year later, he appointed me as Head of the Executive Authority of Baku. As you said, I worked in the Baku City Executive Authority for exactly 17 and a half years. Heydar Aliyev had a great dream: Baku should become clean, comfortable and green. He wanted Baku to turn into a flower garden. He called me at 3 am, at 5 am. He did not sleep and worked day and night. After that, I worked with you. I did everything in my power to fulfill your instructions and your dream of making Baku so beautiful. Baku has become prettier. You have always said that Baku is the most beautiful city in the world. If Heydar Aliyev created the Azerbaijan state and is the founder of statehood, then you are the founder of a developed Azerbaijan. Stability in Azerbaijan is priceless. Thank you very much for this development in Azerbaijan.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you, Hajibala muallim!