World Azerbaijanis are preparing to celebrate the upcoming Solidarity Day - December 31, along with the New Year.
President Ilham Aliyev has congratulated Azerbaijanis on the occasion of the Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis.
"I cordially greet you on the eve of December 31, Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis. I convey to each of you my best wishes," he said.
The president said solidarity of World Azerbaijanis show itself not only in the emotional feelings and senses, but more in the national and political unity, practical steps and concrete results, filled with real content.
He added that the process of further strengthening the solidarity between Azerbaijanis and turning Diaspora structures in 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, spreading of objective information about Azerbaijan and protection of the public interest have significantly increased. Our government, as always, will continue to support Diaspora organizations in this direction," Aliyev said.
Aliyev also noted that successive reforms undertaken in Azerbaijan based on the policy, charted by national leader Heydar Aliyev, have led to a progressive change in all spheres.
He went on to say that the country has embarked on a path of dynamic development.
"It is encouraging that at the beginning of this year, by launching national satellite "Azerspace-1" into orbit, we entered the list of the space countries of the world. An energy agreement "Shah Deniz-2", which opens clear horizons to long-term and sustainable progress of Azerbaijan, was signed with leading European oil and gas companies in Baku a few days ago. This grandiose project, rightly referred to as the contract of the XXI century, like the "Contract of the Century" signed in 1994, will make a solid change in the map of the energy supply of Europe and will further strengthen the international role of our country," the president said.
"Currently, Azerbaijan is also a major center of international economic, political, humanitarian and sporting events in the region. Our country is recognized around the world as a space of tolerance and multiculturalism. A representation of Azerbaijan in the UN Security Council for two years clearly confirms the high evaluation authority of our country and its policies by the international community," President Aliyev added.
Along with achievements, the president also spoke about such a fateful task as restoring the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, broken as a result of Armenian military aggression.
"We continue to negotiate with the opposite side to reach a fair settlement of 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 issue," Aliyev said.
Aliyev also said the solidarity of compatriots living in the world, should become stronger and activities of Diaspora structures should be more organized and flexible.
"We all need to unite more closely around the idea of Azerbaijanism to protect our national interests, rights and freedoms of our compatriots, progress of our state and to increase its international prestige.
"I cordially congratulate all of our compatriots and citizens and with this holiday, I wish you every happiness and success!" the head of the state concluded.
The history of the World Azerbaijanis Solidarity Day goes back to the late 20th century, when the first ever World Congress of Azerbaijanis opened in Istanbul. This event served as one of the reasons to declare December 31 World Azerbaijanis Solidarity Day.
This day was chosen as the symbol of national unity not by accident. Exactly this day in 1989 Azerbaijanis on both sides of the Araz River, separated by nearly two centuries, broke through the fences of Soviet-Iranian border. North and South of Azerbaijan even for a moment, but still joined in a burst of spontaneous fraternization, which then was interrupted by the punitive actions of the Soviet and Iranian troops.
Being Chairman of the Supreme Majlis (Parliament) of Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic National leader Heydar Aliyev first announced World Azerbaijanis Day of Solidarity on December 16, 1991 and after this it became a national holiday of the Azerbaijani people.
Over the time, the World Azerbaijanis Solidarity Day becomes increasingly important, because every year, each Azerbaijani feels the need for unification of compatriots, regardless of whether they live in homeland or abroad.
This unification is particularly significant given the fact that the number of Azerbaijanis living abroad is significantly more than the population of Azerbaijan, which amounts to about 9 million people. There are few countries in the world that can be compared with Azerbaijan in this indicator.
About 50 million Azerbaijanis currently live in countries around the world, including Iran, Turkey, Germany, France, UK, the United States, as well as the Middle East countries. The biggest Azerbaijani diaspora, numbering 1.5 to 2 million people, is in Russia.