Heydar Aliyev Determines Strategic Development of South Caucasus Ahead of Time – Georgian President
Georgia, Tbilisi / Trend corr N. Kirtskhalia / A bust of the Azerbaijani ex national leader Heydar Aliyev was unveiled on 12 May in Tbilisi, Georgia. The ceremony is proof of the brotherhood of the Azerbaijani and Georgian nations, the presidents of the two countries said.
"The bust in Tbilisi is an example of our inviolable friendship," Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at the ceremony.
The designer of the monument that was erected in the centre of Tbilisi is Baku sculptor Natig Aliyev. The black marble pedestal has a bronze bust of Heydar Aliyev on top. The monument was unveiled in Heydar Alliyev square, which was decorated by the city authorities. The cost of the decorations amounted to $45,000.
"First of all I would like to thank my brother Mikhail Saakashvili (Georgian President) on his decision to erect a monument of our national leader in one of the most beautiful places of Tbilisi. I also thank the Georgian nation for their respect to the memory of our great leader. The ceremony proves the fact that our nations at present and in decades of years to come will help each other," Mr. Aliyev said. He voiced his confidence that the friendship and brotherhood of the two nations would be eternal.
The Azerbaijani President stressed that both nations had achieved through suffering the right to be independent states and noted that the late Heydar Aliyev had profoundly contributed to this. "Heydar Aliyev was the personality who began building independent Azerbaijan and today we can say with pride that a lot has been achieved in connection to this. We are turning to a weighty part of Europe and the entire world," the President noted.
"The monument to Heydar Aliyev has intentionally been placed at the core of Georgia that is the centre of Tbilisi. This displays the historical friendship and brotherhood of the nations. Azerbaijanis have always been out brothers and genuine citizens of Georgia as plenty of Azerbaijanis reside in our country. They are the real patriots of their motherland Georgia. Nevertheless, they develop their own language and culture," Mr Saakashvili said.
"Ethnic Azerbaijanis residing in our country are an integral part of Georgia and Azerbaijan is an integral part of Georgia's future," the Georgian leader stressed. He added that efforts and attempts to create a discord between Georgians and Azerbaijanis were in vain. "Those who oppose our unity and brotherhood are the foes of our nations. Our strength lies in unity," Mr Saakashvili urged.
The Georgian President said that Georgia would never forget how last winter Azerbaijan left a part of its population without energy and shared it with Georgia, as Russia had cut gas and electricity supplies to the country.
" Azerbaijan shared heat from its houses, hospitals, schools and stopped the operation of its plants. Last year, when Georgia could not afford gas when Russia put up its prices by 4 times, Azerbaijan again shared its fuel with us. I believe such facts will remain in the memory of every nation," Mr Saakashvili said.
Mr Saakashvili stressed that Heydar Alliyev had played an important part in consolidating Georgian-Azerbaijani relations. "As early as the 90s Heydar Aliyev suggested that Azerbaijan gain access to European markets via Georgia. The suggestion seemed to be politically risky. However, he managed to embody the idea. But for the alternative we would not be able to receive aid from Azerbaijan today and the idea of an alternative energy supply to Europe could not be put into practice. The geopolitics of our region changed only after the very decision of the former Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev," The Georgian President noted.
He stressed that Heydar Aliyev was the founder of present-day Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani nation. "Consolidated Azerbaijan, friendly Azerbaijan, successful Azerbaijan is the pledge for integration and success within Georgia, as well as for our common future," he stressed indicating Azerbaijan and Georgia's strategic partnership.