President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, chair of the bilateral commission Ilyas Umakhanov and chairman of the People's Assembly of the Republic of Dagestan Khizri Shikhsaidov.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said:
- I am very glad to see you again. This year, both Ilyas Magomedsalamovich and Khizri Isayevich were awarded the high order of the Azerbaijani state – the Order of Dostlug (Friendship). I signed respective decrees in March and July this year. I want to say that Azerbaijan highly values your activities towards strengthening the fraternal ties between the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan, between Dagestan and Azerbaijan. You are representatives of Dagestan, with which Azerbaijan shares many centuries of friendship, brotherhood and cooperation. You are also representatives of the Russian state, the Russian government. You play a very important role in Moscow and Dagestan to develop the Russian Federation. You also play a very important role in strengthening the ties between Russia and Azerbaijan, which are also developing very successfully. Azerbaijan highly appreciates your activity. You are known and recognized as great friends of our people and our country.
The close ties between our peoples are successfully developing today. Just last night, at a regular meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin we reviewed our bilateral relations agenda and found that there are no issues that need to be resolved. We simply stated the successes we have achieved, the results of our cooperation in the economic, transport, energy and political spheres, gave instructions to relevant bodies and outlined further ways of developing our relations. So this is already an indicator of the level of our relations, when there are no specific issues that need to be resolved, especially at the level of presidents. All issues are being resolved very successfully and, of course, Russia and Azerbaijan today demonstrate a high level of good-neighborliness, partnership and friendship. And your personal role, Ilyas Magomedsalamovich and Khizri Isayevich, is great. I am saying this quite sincerely, knowing deeply how much you strive and contribute to the strengthening of Russian-Azerbaijani relations.
The head of state awarded the Orders of Dostlug to Ilyas Umakhanov and Khizri Shikhsaidov.
Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, chair of the joint commission Ilyas Umakhanov, Ilyas Umakhanov, said:
- Ilham Heydarovich, I would like to thank you very much on my own behalf and Khizri Isayevich will probably join these words of gratitude too. It is a great honor for us to receive this high award of the Republic of Azerbaijan from the hands of the President. We view this award as a modest contribution to the efforts being made to strengthen interstate and inter-parliamentary ties and, of course, interregional cooperation, first of all, with our native Dagestan. I am proud that for many years our names have shared the bonds of friendship and respect. These relations date back to war and post-war years when your grandfather, the first secretary of the Dagestan regional party committee, actually recalled my father from the army and offered him to take charge of the military department of the Dagestan regional party committee. Afterwards, the special and perhaps even exceptionally trust-based relations linked the great son of the Azerbaijani people, national leader Heydar Aliyevich Aliyev with Dagestan, with my father and with the leaders of Dagestan. I believe that the task of all future generations is to pick up and carry on this baton of the future, the baton you are carrying together with Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin today, the baton of cooperation and friendship.
Dear Ilham Heydarovich, I would like to wish you good health and inexhaustible energy, and our brotherly Azerbaijan prosperity and well-being. I will remember this day for a long time.
The Chairman of the People's Assembly of the Republic of Dagestan of the Russian Federation Khizri Shikhsaidov said:
- I would say a few words if I may. I am joining everything Ilyas Magomedsalamovich has said. I would like to recall the historic role of Aziz Aliyev for Dagestan. He essentially saved the Dagestanis from being evicted to Siberia. This was fraught with huge losses and deportation for the entire people of Dagestan. We still remember that too well. Today, streets in our cities and educational institutions are being named after him. One of the central streets in Makhachkala is named after him, a 6-meter monument has been erected, and people gather there on different occasions, bring flowers and say words of gratitude to him for everything he has done. I also wanted to say that as a neighbor of Azerbaijan, we believe that you are close people to us, and we are very pleased to see how Azerbaijan develops by leaps and bounds – both politically and economically. Thank you very much for such an attitude to people, to your nation. Of course, the foundations of this were laid by the national leader, the great Heydar Aliyevich.
Recalling the words of the head of our state, Khizri Shikhsaidov noted that President Ilham Aliyev had said in his speeches said that Dagestan is a very close region for Azerbaijan. Expressing his gratitude for these words again, he said:
- Thank you very much for such an attitude to Dagestan and Russia. We will always be faithful to our friendship and will always be reliable and close peoples who have lived together and supported each other for centuries. Great reverence to the Azerbaijani people. I wish you good health and a long life.
President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Thank you very much for your kind words. I want to confirm again what I said, and thank you for remembering this. This is indeed the case. For us, Dagestan is a fraternal region, and the historical and traditional fraternal relations between the peoples of Azerbaijan and Dagestan are the most important factor of stability in the Caucasus and in our region. I would also like to thank the people of Dagestan for the kind memory they cherish about Aziz Aliyev. For me, as his grandson and as President of Azerbaijan, this is very valuable. I convey deep gratitude to my our brothers in Dagestan for cherishing his memory, for erecting a monument and for naming a street. Today, as the leader of Azerbaijan, I keep this historical memory in my heart. He was in love with Dagestan, he loved the people of Dagestan and they loved him too, and the fact that this memory has been preserved, of course, means a lot. Of course, I would also like to note today that the head of Dagestan, Ilyas Magomedsalamovich's father, Magomedsalam Umakhanov, and Heydar Aliyev played a huge role in strengthening our traditional ties. I remember their relations in the 1970-1980s, their meetings and conversations. Today we are their successors. We are trying to take our relations to a qualitatively new level. I want to congratulate you again and wish you long and active years of service for the benefit of Russia, Dagestan and Azerbaijan.