The head of state noted that both in the period before the independence and in the years of independence, Heydar Aliyev was always close to the people, and public service was his main mission.
"After the 20 January tragedy, he spoke his mind, visited Azerbaijan’s permanent mission in Moscow, held a press conference there, blamed the Soviet leadership, the leadership of the Communist Party, condemned this bloody tragedy and communicated the truth to the whole world because he had great authority, and the words of truth spoken from his mouth reverberated throughout the world. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union was still two years away. No-one could have ever imagined that the Soviet Union would fall apart. This courageous step testifies to how much Heydar Aliyev was attached to his people," the president said.
After that, he left the ranks of the Communist Party which he had served for many years, the head of state noted.
"This was also a great danger. I must also note that after the tragedy of 20 January, those who were represented on the leadership of Azerbaijan remained silent, none of them condemned the bloody tragedy. This showed again that the then leaders were anti-national. The PFPA-Musavat tandem that replaced them by illegally seizing power, and remained in power for more than a year. Over the year it failed to give a political and legal assessment of the 20 January tragedy. Power was in their hands. Why didn’t they do it? Why did they remain indifferent to this tragedy? It was Heydar Aliyev who, after returning to power, gave a political and legal assessment to the tragedy of 20 January, the crime committed against the Azerbaijani people. This shows again how much the great leader was attached to the people," the president stressed.
According to the head of state, the path leading to independence is also associated with Heydar Aliyev’s name.
"It was on his decision that the tricolor flag of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was approved as the state flag and other similar decisions were made at a session of the Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan. At that time, a referendum was held on the preservation of the Soviet Union, and in Azerbaijan it was rigged. It said that the population of Azerbaijan had allegedly voted to preserve the Soviet Union. However, this was not the case. No referendum was held in Nakhchivan. The words “Soviet Socialist” were excluded from the name of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. It was a path leading to independence," President Ilham Aliyev said.
"The New Azerbaijan Party was established, thus forming a political system in Azerbaijan, because there was no political system or parties in Azerbaijan before the creation of the party. Separate armed groups called themselves a party and fought each other, while the lands were under occupation. If Heydar Aliyev had led Azerbaijan from the very beginning of independence, our lands would never have been occupied. All the leaders of Azerbaijan before Heydar Aliyev, had deserted, left the people and country in a difficult situation and fled: two to Moscow and one to Keleki (Nakhchivan). This was desertion, betrayal and treason. The duty of a leader is to protect the state and be with the people. In the most difficult and challenging moments, the leader should be at the forefront, like Heydar Aliyev. He is an example for all of us."
The head of state noted that in 1920, Azerbaijan lost independence.
"There are objective and subjective reasons for that. But it is a reality. Whatever reason you cite today, it is all useless because independence was lost. Why weren’t we strong enough? There are various reasons for that, but the fact is that we weren’t strong enough. Therefore, we must always remember this bitter history," President Ilham Aliyev said.
"Independence could have been lost in 1993 if Heydar Aliyev had not come to power. He preserved, defended and strengthened our independence and put us on the right path. We are following his path, strengthening and will continue to strengthen our independence. Our independence is the main goal. Azerbaijan is an independent state, a proud state and a state that is very optimistic of the future."
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