Azerbaijan & Heydar Aliyev on June 22: National Leader - on importance of Azerbaijani language and Diaspora

Politics Materials 22 June 2023 11:20 (UTC +04:00)
Azerbaijan & Heydar Aliyev on June 22: National Leader - on importance of Azerbaijani language and Diaspora

Having played a crucial role in Azerbaijan’s formation and development, Heydar Aliyev left an indelible mark in the history of Azerbaijan. "Azerbaijan & Heydar Aliyev" – is a special project of Trend News Agency, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the national leader, which will cover key events of Heydar Aliyev's work in the years of his leading Azerbaijan.

June 22, 2000. Heydar Aliyev took part in the constituent assembly of the All-Russian Congress of Azerbaijanis in Moscow. The national leader delivered a speech to the participants of the event, where he touched in detail on the role of the Azerbaijani language in the development of the country, society, and nation, and also analyzed the process of building Azerbaijani diaspora organizations in the world.

Heydar Aliyev noted that every Azerbaijani should know the Azerbaijani language.

“However, I also know that Azerbaijanis living in Russia or Azerbaijanis living in Azerbaijan itself, according to a tradition that has existed for many years, studied in Russian, and in their families they spoke Russian more. Therefore, they do not speak their language well enough. After Azerbaijan gained state independence, the Azerbaijani language was declared the state language. Nine years have passed since that time. And there are still such Azerbaijanis in Azerbaijan, in Baku, even in government work there are Azerbaijanis who ask at our various meetings to allow them to speak Russian so that they can express their thoughts more accurately. I have repeatedly warned them: I will give you some more time, but if during this period you will not be able to learn your native language, the state language, then you will have to leave government work. And then you can speak the language you want," the national leader noted at the time.

“Wherever every person lives - not only in Russia, even in Australia or, I don't know, in South Africa - he should not only not forget his language, but always know it,” Heydar Aliyev had added.

"I have repeatedly said during my speech in Azerbaijan that I want Azerbaijanis, in particular, the youth, to know as many languages as possible: Russian, English, French, German, Arabic, and Spanish. But let them be fluent in the Azerbaijani language. The more languages a person knows, the richer he becomes. A person who lives only in one language, of course, will have a difficult time in the modern world, in a world that is generally interconnected," Heydar Aliyev had said.

Speaking about the issues of the Diaspora, the national leader noted that Azerbaijanis, wherever they live, should be connected with each other.

"Firstly, it will help to preserve our language, traditions, and customs. Secondly, it will help every Azerbaijani. An Azerbaijani has a problem, another one will help him. Of course, he has a friend who is Russian or Jewish or some other nationality - this is also a friend, and he will help him. But still, an Azerbaijani is always closer to him - according to customs, morals, etc. Therefore, I would like the Azerbaijanis living in Russia to be in close relations with each other. And this is possible by creating communities in various regions of Russia. When I found out that there are already established communities in Russia in 50 regions and that representatives of these communities can come here to Moscow to meet with me, it made me very happy. Because it is known that there are many Azerbaijanis in Russia. However, we lacked organization and communication, if this issue is resolved now, then it is very good, very pleasant," Heydar Aliyev had said.

The national leader touched upon the Karabakh conflict and the influence of the Armenian Diaspora.

"Unfortunately, we are in the neighborhood of Armenia, with which we have no friendship. You know the history of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Azerbaijanis are a peace-loving people, Azerbaijanis have never shown a negative attitude towards other peoples. Tolerance and religious tolerance of our people are at a high level. We are not to blame for the fact that Armenians - of course, not all of them, but those aggressive separatists or extremists - at different times fomented various conflicts and, finally, in 1988, they already made a direct attack in order to tear off the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region and annex it to themselves. And that was the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It is still going on, and we cannot resolve this conflict in any way. We knew before, but after this conflict arose, we began to know more about it - what kind of organization Armenians have in different countries, what closeness they have with each other, what strong communities," Heydar Aliyev had said.

“Earlier, for example, even I, a person who has been involved in politics and government activities for many years, did not imagine this to such an extent. I remember when the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict had just begun and Soviet and Russian politician Mikhail Gorbachev made his first visit to the US, where he met with representatives of the Armenian community, as reported in the Soviet press. And they presented him, that is, Raisa Maksimovna, with some expensive gift. This caused us outrage. Yes, it caused outrage. Gorbachev, the leader of the Soviet Union, had to have the same approach to both Armenians and Azerbaijanis. By the way, I gave an interview to a television station yesterday and talked about it again. If Gorbachev and his entourage had taken the right position in 1988, this conflict would not have taken such a form, and there would not have been so many losses, and Armenia and Azerbaijan would not have been in such hostile relations as they are today. He and the then Soviet leadership are one of the culprits," Heydar Aliyev had pointed out.

According to the national leader, Azerbaijanis living outside Azerbaijan should unite.

"In the name of what? In the name of independent Azerbaijan. For a true Azerbaijani who loves his land and his parents, there is one Azerbaijan today. There is one Azerbaijani land and an Azerbaijani state, the President of Azerbaijan! You can be sure that this President of Azerbaijan will defend the independence and internal stability of Azerbaijan until his last breath, develop the economy of Azerbaijan, and most importantly, achieve a peaceful settlement of the Armenian–Azerbaijani conflict," Heydar Aliyev had said.