I cordially greet you on the eve of 31 December - Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis and convey my best wishes to each of you.
This holiday, which has become a symbol of our spiritual unity, represents the feelings of love for the motherland and national commitment in the hearts of our countrymen. The solidarity of Azerbaijanis of the world is manifested not only in emotional feelings and sensations today, but more - in national and political unity, practical steps and concrete results filled with real content. The process of further strengthening solidarity between Azerbaijanis and turning diaspora entities into an effective force is continuing successfully. In recent years, the role of diaspora organizations in ensuring the rights of our compatriots living in foreign countries, disseminating objective information about Azerbaijan and protecting public interests has significantly increased. Our government, as always, will continue to support diaspora organizations in this field.
The successive reforms undertaken by us in the Azerbaijan Republic on the basis of the political course outlined by the national leader Heydar Aliyev have now led to progressive changes in all spheres and our country has embarked on a path of dynamic development. It is encouraging that at the beginning of this year we launched the national satellite Azerspace-1 into orbit and joined the ranks of the world’s space countries. The energy agreement Shah Deniz-2, which opens clear horizons to the long-term and sustainable progress of Azerbaijan, was signed with leading European oil and gas companies in Baku a few days ago. This ambitious project, rightly referred to as the contract of the 21st century, as well as the "Contract of the Century" signed in 1994, will make a profound change on the map of energy supplies to Europe and will further strengthen the international role of our state.
The powerful leap, which has occurred in the socioeconomic field in Azerbaijan in the last 10 years, has had a positive impact on all aspects of society and led public-political processes in a healthy direction. Our republic is confidently moving on the way of democracy, political pluralism, human rights and freedoms are provided in the country and all conditions have been created for the development of civil society. The presidential election held this year showed that the level of political culture in Azerbaijan is high and the continuing strategic course is based on the will of the people.
Azerbaijan has now become the region’s major centre for international economic, political, humanitarian and sporting events. Our country is recognized around the world as an area of tolerance and multiculturalism. The representation of Azerbaijan in the UN Security Council for two years is a clear confirmation of the high evaluation by the international community of the authority of our state and its policies.
Along with the successes that have been achieved, I should note that we are faced with such a fateful task as restoring the territorial integrity of our country violated as a result of Armenian military aggression. We continue to negotiate with the opposite side to reach a fair settlement to the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in accordance with international law. I think that the Azerbaijanis of the world, regardless of where they live, should also provide their support to this cause.
I should also note the reality that the global processes experienced in the modern world, along with positive trends, create a number of problems for the national development of countries and for the preservation of the national and spiritual values of peoples. In such circumstances, the solidarity of our compatriots living in the world should become stronger and the activities of diaspora entities - more organized and flexible. The protection and development of the independent Azerbaijan Republic, which forms the basis of our unity and solidarity, and the strengthening of its positions in the international community require special efforts from each of us. We all need to unite more closely around the idea of Azerbaijanism to protect our national interests, secure the rights and freedoms of our fellow citizens, to ensure the progress of our state and increase its international prestige.
I sincerely congratulate all of our countrymen and fellow citizens on this holiday and wish each of you happiness and success!
President of the Azerbaijan Republic
Baku, 25 December 2013