Islam Karimov

Former President of the Republic of Uzbekistan

The historical role of Heydar Aliyev in the formation and strengthening of the independence of Azerbaijan, in raising its prestige in the international world, and in the development and expansion of bilateral relations between our countries and peoples is unparalleled.

 Dear Heydar Aliyev, I listened with great satisfaction and enthusiasm to everything you said here. I can not find proper words to thank you for your sincere words addressed to Uzbekistan, its leaders, and its people. I have been to many countries, I hear a lot, and I see a lot. But I must say that the evaluations you made are something we rarely hear. Moreover, as time passes, history moves forward rapidly, but in the current state of each nation, it is very difficult to trace certain stages of the Uzbek people and society, as well as the stages passed by Azerbaijan.

Therefore, I must say without exaggeration, the first impression that I received from today’s communication with you is that you have an excellent, I would even say, encyclopedic memory. It is unprecedented to remember so many names from ancient history, philosophy, politics, literature, and language and remember so many modern names! Heydar Aliyev, believe me, I cannot compete with you in this matter and cannot be equal to you. Let me just say that I envy not only you, but also the Azerbaijani people, because today they have such a leader, and he keeps everything in his memory, and most importantly, he has a clear, consistent policy and position. While you are talking, I am beginning to re-evaluate many situations and events in our lives.

I must say that there are many people who aspire to be leaders. This was especially manifested after the collapse of the USSR. In all countries, there was a feeling that anyone could be a candidate for a leadership role – a senior scientist, a head of laboratory, a historian who spent his life in dusty archives flipping through enormous books. I can say that post-Soviet history teaches a lot and calls for a lot. Not only in the post-Soviet countries but also in the example of other countries, life itself washed away the superfluous and unnecessary and put in place those who rose on this wave of stupidity. It must be said that at a turning point in post-Soviet history when the fates of not individual cities and places, but the fates of people are changing, life becomes so wise that at this stage it reveals who is able to lead this or that society, this or that nation. I’m not used to saying compliments. This doesn’t work for me. I know my fault, but in this case, in the example of the Caucasus, I want to say that life again forced everything into its place. At a time when the fate of millions of people was being decided, history brought back some world-famous leaders. Regardless of whether one likes Heydar Aliyev or not, today the world knows him, and he is the rightful leader who raised the reputation of Azerbaijan around the world.

You have been entrusted with a historical mission – the mission to lead Azerbaijan at the turning stage of the national statehood formation, at the stage of strengthening the sovereignty and independence of the country. I am sure that your great life experience will allow you to successfully carry out fundamental changes in society and ensure the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan for the benefit of future generations.

Heydar Aliyev is truly one of the leaders who managed to overcome all difficulties and the most difficult trials. He is a wise man. The nation is happy for having Heydar Aliyev as its leader.

I want to emphasize once again the validity of the arrival of an experienced politician Heydar Aliyev to the leadership of the country at a difficult moment in the history of the Azerbaijani people. His elaborate, tolerant policy, wisdom, and at the same time determination made it possible to achieve a radical change for the better in a short period of time, both at the domestic level and in strengthening the international reputation of Azerbaijan. He was able to unite the Azerbaijani nation and direct their forces to creative processes.