President: Heydar Aliyev founding father of Azerbaijani statehood [UPDATE]
President Ilham Aliyev has said that Heydar Aliyev is the founding father of the Azerbaijani statehood.
He made the remarks during his address outside the administration building in Shusha on May 10.
“Heydar Aliyev rendered unparalleled services to the people of Azerbaijan. He stood by the people in the most difficult moments for our people, saved the people of Azerbaijan from great troubles and tragedies. Heydar Aliyev is the founding father of the Azerbaijani statehood and the Azerbaijani state, its founder,” he said.
Underscoring that Heydar Aliyev dedicated his life to the people, he added that his greatest wish was to see Karabakh liberated again, to have Azerbaijani territorial integrity restored.
He noted that as a result of Heydar Aliyev’s work in the field of state and army building the foundations of the state were laid and Azerbaijan embarked on the path of development.
“Unfortunately, my father did not live to see this day. Hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis like him died without experiencing the joy of this day. We, their successors, have completed their work, and my father's will has been fulfilled. Today, the souls of my father and hundreds of thousands of people who died without ever seeing this day, the souls of all our martyrs are happy. We have made their souls happy,” he said.
Aliyev recalled that in 2003, for the first time, the people of Azerbaijan showed confidence in him and once again demonstrated their loyalty to the policy of the great leader.
“In my turn, I said that if the people of Azerbaijan showed confidence in me, I, as President, would follow the path of Heydar Aliyev, I will not turn back from this path and achieve the restoration of the territorial integrity of our country. I swore an oath. I am happy to have fulfilled my promise, and Karabakh is free today,” he said.
The president emphasized that today, the Azerbaijani flag flies in Karabakh and Zangazur.
“Today, on 10 May, I once again express my respect for the memory of the Great Leader and I want to assure the people of Azerbaijan that I will continue to do my best for the development of our people and our state, for the strengthening of our independence,” he said.
Emphasizing that Karabakh is reviving today, he noted that the construction and restoration work is in full swing in all the regions.
“Large-scale landscaping and restoration work is underway in all our liberated lands. As a matter of fact, cities and villages are being rebuilt,” he added.
The president recalled that during the occupation, the enemy destroyed all Azerbaijani cities and villages, ravaged all historical sites, and brought a city like Shusha to a deplorable state.
“We, the true owners of these lands, have already returned, and this land and these skies are seeing that. They see another step is taken towards development every day. Every day, a stone is placed on top of another. We will restore all the liberated lands,” he said.
“I had to be here today, on 10 May. I had to express my respect for the memory of the Great Leader and the people of Azerbaijan, and I must say once again that we have returned to these lands, our native lands, and we will live here forever,” he added.