Ilham Aliyev and President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev attended opening of Heydar Aliyev Square in Tashkent

21 June 2022, 12:05
Ilham Aliyev and President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev attended opening of Heydar Aliyev Square in Tashkent

The Heydar Aliyev Square has today been inaugurated in Tashkent.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, who is on a state visit to Uzbekistan, and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev attended the opening ceremony.

The square is located in the Mirabad district of the capital, in an area populated by Azerbaijanis. The surrounding buildings have been renovated. The square has been completely reconstructed, a green area has been laid out and all conditions have been created for local residents to have a rest.

A large memorial of great leader Heydar Aliyev has been erected in the central part of the square.

Located on a street named after national leader Heydar Aliyev, the square will be one of the most popular places for recreation of local residents and visitors.

President of Uzbekistan and President of Azerbaijan made speeches at the ceremony.

Speech by President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev

- Dear Ilham Heydar oglu,

Dear members of the delegation,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Today we are welcoming our dear guest, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev, to the fertile land of Uzbekistan. There is a deep meaning in the fact that your state visit begins with the opening ceremony of a street named after the national leader of the Azerbaijani people, a great friend of Uzbekistan, respected Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev, as well as a bas-relief installed here.

We all know Heydar Aliyev well. He went down in history as an outstanding politician and statesman of the 20th century. He devoted his entire life to native Azerbaijan. In the most difficult years for the country, he boldly assumed tremendous responsibility for its fate, laid the foundations of modern statehood and successfully implemented large-scale transformations in all spheres of life in Azerbaijan. He was truly the architect of independent Azerbaijan. His firm determination and political will, his vast experience as a leader and exceptional leadership qualities saved the young and independent state. It is deeply symbolic that every year on 15 June Azerbaijan celebrates the National Salvation Day of the Azerbaijani people. It was on this day that Heydar Aliyev returned to the leadership of the country and was elected chairman of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan.

I think that it would be appropriate to recall the difficult pages in the history of our countries prior to achieving independence. Our peoples had to endure difficult and sometimes tragic times. Nevertheless, both the Uzbek and Azerbaijani peoples have retained their spiritual values, national pride and self-consciousness, and defended the right to build their own future. Assessing the thorny path we have traveled to the long-awaited freedom, we can say with confidence that independence and sovereignty have been dearly paid for by our peoples. The price of freedom is always the fate of generations, their lives, faith and conscience. And today, our sacred duty is to appreciate the acquired national independence, strengthen it in every possible way and pass it on to future generations. Considering the lessons of history, today we are once again paying tribute to the truly unique personality of Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev. Just as a moment and eternity are inextricably linked, so Heydar Aliyev cannot be separated from the history of the Azerbaijani people and its life.

Heydar Aliyev often repeated the immortal lines of great Samad Vurgun: “I am all yours, forever given to you as a son, Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan.” Therefore, the name and image of Heydar Aliyev are perceived throughout the world as a symbol of all the good and noble qualities inherent in the Azerbaijani people.

Elected president in the most dramatic period in the country's life, he achieved peace, stability and civil harmony, and laid out the vector for the development of modern Azerbaijan for many decades to come. He managed to strongly promote the economy, science, education, contributed to the revival of national values, strengthening the traditions of tolerance of the Azerbaijani people. In a relatively short period of time, new industries were established in the country, dozens of large plants and factories were built, hundreds of schools, libraries, centers of culture and museums were opened. Azerbaijan began to develop rapidly, embarking on the path of building a democratic state and the rule of law, took its rightful place in the international arena, gained high authority and respect. Heydar Aliyev was a true patriot. His very name is quite symbolic. As you know, Heydar means “leader”. He really was the leader, the leader of his people. Relying on the wise words of great poet and thinker Nizami Ganjavi, he always said: “I consider love of my native land to be my duty.” This was the meaning of his life. And his most cherished dream was the restoration of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, the establishment of lasting peace and stability in the South Caucasus. The dream of the restoration of historical justice was successfully realized by the President of Azerbaijan, esteemed Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev. For all these years, Uzbekistan has firmly advocated the position of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan on the basis of international law. We have spoken about this wherever possible and always strongly and firmly supported it. Once again, on behalf of the Uzbek people and on my own behalf, I sincerely congratulate the fraternal people of Azerbaijan on this Victory.

The activities of Heydar Aliyev, his outstanding personality and great legacy are highly appreciated by prominent politicians and public figures around the world. Dear participants of the ceremony, I would like to highlight the huge contribution Heydar Aliyev has made to the development and strengthening of friendly relations between our countries and the historical ties between the two peoples. There were open and most trusting relations between him and the leaders of Uzbekistan Sharaf Rashidovich Rashidov and then Islam Abduganievich Karimov. The friendship between our leaders has allowed the two countries and fraternal peoples to interact closely and develop active exchanges, including humanitarian ones. The national leader of Azerbaijan has always treated the Uzbek people with great respect. A comprehensively educated and deeply intelligent person, he sincerely admired our history, culture and traditions. In 1996, Heydar Aliyev, while visiting the The State Museum of Timurids History in Tashkent, left an entry in the Book of Honored Guests, in which, in particular, he emphasized: “Many thanks to the people of Uzbekistan for the careful and respectful attitude to the merits, the historical heritage of Amir Timur. This is a manifestation of high morality and wisdom.”

In recent years, thanks to our joint efforts, the relations between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan have reached a high level of strategic partnership, and they are filled with concrete content. I would like to express special gratitude to you, dear Ilham Heydar oglu, for your personal attention and comprehensive strengthening of cooperation between our countries. I am confident that your state visit will give a new powerful impetus to the further development of our mutually beneficial ties.

Dear friends, today, remembering the good name of the national leader of Azerbaijan, I would like to quote the words of great Uzbek poet Hamid Alimjan: “A person is alive as long as the memory of him is alive.” I am convinced that these words are perceived in the same way both in Uzbekistan and in Azerbaijan. I am convinced that this memorial complex, dedicated to the great man and patriot, builder of the future youth of both Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan look up to today, Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev, will become a vivid symbol of the unbreakable friendship of our countries and peoples, a revered place for residents and visitors to our native Uzbekistan. Once again, I want to express my sincere gratitude. We have been preparing for this visit for a very long time. But there have been a few objective reasons, there has been pandemic. I want to say that Ilham Heydar oglu is paying his first official visit after the pandemic to Uzbekistan. This is very symbolic. I want to say again: “Welcome to Uzbekistan.” Today, all the people of Uzbekistan, all the people are already waiting for you. I think that this visit will be a historic visit. Of course, we will talk about everything today. This will give a great impetus to our relations, and we will take our relations to a completely different level in the future because we have been preparing for this for a long time. Mr. President, welcome to Uzbekistan.

Now, it is my pleasure to give the floor to President of Azerbaijan Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev.

x x x

Speech by President Ilham Aliyev

-Dear Shavkat Miromonovich,

Dear friends!

First of all, I would like to express my deep gratitude to Shavkat Miromonovich for the invitation to visit fraternal Uzbekistan. As Shavkat Miromonovich has said, I suspended all official visits due to the pandemic and have not paid official visits for more than two years. And I am paying my first official visit after the pandemic to fraternal Uzbekistan. This is a manifestation of our relations, a manifestation of the brotherhood and friendship between our peoples. I am very grateful to my dear brother Shavkat Miromonovich for the initiative, for creating such a beautiful corner in the center of Tashkent dedicated to the memory of my father Heydar Aliyev. A street, a square, a bas-relief, a beautiful park – this is a truly fraternal attitude towards the memory of the great leader of the Azerbaijani people, towards the entire Azerbaijani people. We in Azerbaijan highly appreciate this. We are very grateful, and we see this as a truly fraternal attitude of our Uzbek brothers to our great leader, to our common history. It is also a sign of respect for the entire Azerbaijani people to whom Heydar Aliyev devoted his entire life. I am very grateful to Shavkat Miromonovich for the kind words about my father. He has very succinctly and accurately described our leader. Heydar Aliyev dedicated his whole life to serving Azerbaijan, and both in the Soviet times and during the years of independence, he was always with his people. In the most difficult times, at times when our people were subjected to aggression and persecution, he always stood next to the people. On 20 January 1990, two years before the collapse of the Soviet Union, he publicly condemned the Soviet leadership for sending the Soviet army to Baku, killing and injuring hundreds of innocent Azerbaijanis. This required great political courage. Because it was still not known back then how much longer the Soviet Union would exist. He did that. He was also with his people in the most difficult times, when the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic was subjected to aggression, and by leading the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic he essentially defended this historical piece of Azerbaijan, this ancient land from aggression. It was also on his initiative that the flag of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which existed from 1918 to the 1920, was officially adopted as the state flag in Nakhchivan long before the Soviet Union was consigned to history and Azerbaijan restored its independence. Then there was a period associated with civil war. It was Heydar Aliyev who, by the will of the people, stopped the civil war in 1993 and put our country on the path of development. The strengthening of our statehood, reforms and development – everything in Azerbaijan is associated with his name. And we are proud to be continuing his work. In his political testament shortly before his death, he said addressing the Azerbaijani people: “What I could not finish will be finished by my followers.” We, his followers, are proud that to have implemented all his precepts and, first of all, restored historical justice, restored the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

As Shavkat Miromonovich correctly noted, Heydar Aliyev treated the Uzbek people with great love. As his son, I can testify to this as an eyewitness, and his friendship with Sharaf Rashidovich Rashidov in the 1970s was known to the entire Soviet leadership. In the 1990s, his friendship with Islam Abduganievich Karimov is also known to our peoples, and this was the basis of today's development of our relations. Shavkat Miromonovich and I are continuing to move along this glorious path. We are leading our peoples along the path of development and the path of close cooperation.

My state visit today is not only evidence of our intentions, but also evidence of the solid foundation of our fraternal and friendly relations. The attitude of Heydar Aliyev to the Uzbek people and Uzbekistan as a whole is very well known in Uzbekistan. Today we are very glad to see Uzbekistan under the leadership of my brother Shavkat Miromonovich as a powerful and independent state, leading an independent foreign policy, relying on its own resources, as a country that has achieved tremendous success in terms of socioeconomic development. It is enough to look at the statistical figures over the past five to six years to see how great successes Uzbekistan has achieved under the leadership of Shavkat Miromonovich in strengthening independence, defense capability, economic potential, solving social issues, and urban planning. We see this and rejoice in that as friends and brothers.

Once again, on behalf of the entire Azerbaijani people, I would like to express our gratitude, first of all, to the President of Uzbekistan, to the fraternal Uzbek people for such an attitude towards the memory of Heydar Aliyev. We in Azerbaijan highly appreciate and will never forget this. This is another contribution to the strengthening of fraternal relations between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. Long live the unity and brotherhood of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.

x x x

The heads of state inaugurated the memorial complex.

President Ilham Aliyev and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev then laid flowers at the memorial complex.