Ilyas Umakhanov: "We will never forget Heydar Aliyev's prophetic saying: Russian language will always be in Azerbaijan"
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's order declared 2018 as a Year of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR). The first democratic republic in the East was created exactly 100 years ago. In this connection, jubilee events are held in Azerbaijan and other countries. Russian cultural figures, members of the public and senators congratulated Azerbaijanis on the jubilee at a reception in the Moscow embassy of Azerbaijan, dedicated to the Republic Day.
"I congratulate very warmly our hospitable hosts and all Azerbaijanis on the Republic Day and wish peace and prosperity to friendly Azerbaijanis," Deputy chairman of the Federation Council of Russia Ilyas Umakhanov said. He recalled that Russia and Azerbaijan has strategic partnership relations, based on the principles of equality and good-neighborliness, centuries-old traditions of friendship, common history and culture, intertwined destinies of millions of people. "This is equally applicable to my father's fate and the fate of our family. The great son of the Azerbaijani people, the outstanding statesman of our once common country, Heydar Alievich Aliyev, is the inspirational symbol of friendship and unity of our countries and peoples, the inseparability of the historical destinies of entire generations. He has a historical role in the formation of independent Azerbaijan and the strengthening of the foundations of friendship and strategic partnership with Russia. On May 10, we marked Heydar Aliyevich's 95th birthday anniversary together with our Azerbaijani friends in Baku and opened a unique historical documentary exhibition dedicated to the fate and historical role of the national leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev. Russia was an integral part of his life, and the closest, reliable and priority partner in political terms. This baton, based on a clear understanding of Azerbaijan's national interests, is worthily continued by his son, respected Ilham Aliyev," Umakhanov said.
According to him, intensive political dialogue at the highest level is supplemented by the parliaments, which make a significant contribution to the development of bilateral relations by actively interacting at international parliamentary platforms: "This year the bilateral trade turnover is growing rapidly. There is a serious mutual interest in implementing a number of large strategic projects in the fields of energy, transport, innovative technologies, agriculture. An exclusively dense fabric of regional cooperation was formed - the subjects of the Russian Federation act in accordance with the agreement on trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation with Azerbaijan."
The senator also drew attention to the development of cooperation in the humanitarian sphere: "About 15,000 students from Azerbaijan are studying in Russia. Azerbaijani branches of leading Russian universities are successfully operating. Our joint project, which has become widely accepted and recognized in the world - the Baku International Humanitarian Forum, which is held under patronage of the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan, has become the site for discussing urgent problems of the development of modern society. Currently, together with Azerbaijani colleagues we are actively preparing the next, the sixth meeting."
Ilyas Umakhanov also noted that Heydar Aliyev always paid attention to the positive influence of Russian language and Russian culture on the socio-cultural development of Azerbaijan. "Today, hundreds of teachers, scientists, cultural workers of our countries, including the staff of more than 300 Azerbaijani schools with Russian as the language of instruction, work to preserve the legacy of the common spiritual and educational space. We will never forget Heydar Aliyev's prophetic saying: 'Russian language will always be in Azerbaijan'," Umakhanov said.
The senator mentioned the strengthening of inter-confessional dialogue and accord as extremely important: "In this context, we should note the success of the conference on this subject, which was held with the active participation of the Moscow Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in November 2017 in St. Petersburg, which was attended by the authoritative public, political and religious figures of our countries. We have big and concrete plans for the future. In September, the 9th Interregional Russian-Azerbaijani Forum will be held in Ganja and the 17th meeting of the commission will be held in Moscow. We are optimistic and confident about the future of Russian-Azerbaijani relations."
Completing his speech, Umakhanov raise his glass "for the well-being and prosperity of friendly, fraternal Azerbaijan, for the strong friendship between the Russian and Azerbaijani peoples, for the health of the heads of our states."