Commemorating Heydar Aliyev
On December 12 we commemorate the memory of the great National Leader of the Azerbaijani people, Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev. He passed away 11 years ago, in 2003, at the age of 80. Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev was born on 10 May 1923 in Nakhichevan City of Azerbaijan. He worked in high ranking positions in the Soviet government for many years, before he had to resign from his post in the Kremlin due to pressure exerted by Gorbachev, then the Secretary General of the Communist Party.
In bound with the tragedy committed on 20 January 1990 in Baku by the Soviet troops, appearing the next day at the Azerbaijani Representation in Moscow with a statement, Heydar Aliyev demanded to punish the organizers and executors of the crime committed against the people of Azerbaijan. As a sign of protest against the hypocritical policy of the USSR leadership, in connection with the critical conflict in Daghlyg Garabagh, in July 1991, he left the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
After returning in July 1990 to Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev first lived in Baku, then moved to Nakhchyvan. On October 3, 1993, as a result of nationwide voting, Heydar Aliyev was elected President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. On October 11, 1998, having won the national elections with 76,1% majority, he was re-elected as President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Heydar Aliyev, giving his consent to be nominated as a candidate at the 15 October 2003 presidential elections, he relinquished to run at the elections ibecause of health problems. On December 12 the national leader of the Azerbaijani people, President Heydar Aliyev passed away in Cleveland Hospital in the United States of America.
Heydar Aliyev, from the moment of becoming President, put Azerbaijan onto the world political and socio-economic arena. During his Presidency Azerbaijan became one of the key players in the world’s energy arena, became the fastest growing economy, as well as the county with one of the most religiously tolerant societies in the world.
He was always proud of the rich culture and great historical past of the country. He was concerned about the future generations and made Azerbaijan overcome hard and terrible ordeals of that time.
Being an outstanding politician and statesman, an indisputable leader of the nation, he was a live legend, and therefore, Heydar Aliyev as a phenomenon, always attracted attention.
In 2004, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation was established to honour President Heydar Aliyev. Since its inception, the Foundation has been actively participating in building a new society and contributing to the social and economic development of the country, by implementing various projects in spheres such as education, public health, culture, sports, science and technology, environment, and social and other spheres. The First Lady of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mehriban Aliyeva, is the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
In 2013, the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Pretoria and local NGO “Friends of Azerbaijan” in South Africa (FOA) in commemoration of 90th anniversary Heydar Aliev organised a number of events. These included a photo exhibition at the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as the Heydar Aliyev Foundation 's book donation and photo exhibition at the South African National Library. One of the main events was a friendly kick-boxing match between Azerbaijani and South African fighters.
The people of Azerbaijan lost a great leader and the world lost a great politician. However, we are grateful to Heydar Aliyev for his contributions and promise to continue his work and honour his legacy.
Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to
The Republic of South Africa