Baku, May 7, AZERTAC
A new building of the Organization of Veterans of War, Labor and Armed Forces has been inaugurated in Baku.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva attended the opening of the new building.
The head of state cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the building.
Then a picture was taken.
The head of state reviewed conditions created here.
President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva then met with veterans.
The head of state addressed the event.
Speech by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev
- Dear veterans,
First of all, I want to cordially congratulate you on the forthcoming celebration of 9 May, Victory Day, wish you good health.
I will take part in the upcoming celebrations of 9 May in Moscow. Therefore, we are conducting our traditional meeting today, on 7 May. We meet every year and these meetings are of great importance.
At the same time, it is a momentous day in the life of our veterans, because a new beautiful building is being commissioned for veterans. Last year representatives of veteran organizations appealed to me. The decision was made immediately and this wonderful building has been built.
Veterans will be working at this center, which meets the highest standards. All the conditions are available here, and we have done it in a short time. So this proves once again that the state of Azerbaijan pays great attention to its veterans. Veterans receive high awards and are provided with cars. This year we will complete the process of providing cars to all veterans in the line. Apartments and money bonuses are provided. I should also note that the highest monetary bonuses in the CIS are provided in Azerbaijan. You deserve that because you were defending your homeland and heroism, so the Azerbaijani state appreciates your work. The policy of great leader Heydar Aliyev was that we must always be attentive to war veterans.
Unfortunately, the Popular Front-Musavat tandem that was in power in the early years of independence removed Victory Day from the list of public holidays. In other words, this holiday was canceled. They wanted to erase your heroism from history. But they turned out to be erased from history and from the political arena themselves. The Azerbaijani people did not tolerate this anti-national leadership. After great leader Heydar Aliyev came to power at the request of the people, historical justice was restored and 9 May, Victory Day, was adopted as official holiday which we celebrate to the present day. This is our public holiday, a very dear holiday for us.
Azerbaijan has made an enormous contribution to the victory over fascism. About 700,000 people from Azerbaijan participated in the war and 300,000 of them were killed. A total of 123 people have been awarded the highest title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Thirty people have been awarded the Order of "Glory" of all three degrees and 170,000 people have received various orders and medals. This is the statistics confirming the heroism of the Azerbaijani people.
At the same time, Azerbaijan played a decisive role in the victory over German fascism. I am saying this with full responsibility because if it hadn’t been for Azerbaijani oil and the hard work of Azerbaijani oilmen, the results of the war might have been completely different. At that time, in the years of war, the Soviet Union produced 110 million tons of oil. Of this, 75 million tons were produced by Azerbaijani oilmen. It is no coincidence that German fascism made great efforts to occupy Baku. If they had captured Baku, they would have taken over the vast majority of the energy resources of the Soviet Union, and thus, due to a lack of fuel, the outcomes of the war could have been quite different.
The Soviet army defended Baku, and this saved our people from greater harm. A total of 300,000 representatives of Azerbaijan died heroically. But if Hitler's army had invaded Baku, a genocide would have been committed against our people, because the ideology of fascism is based on racism, discrimination, xenophobia and hostility towards other ethnic groups. The heroism of Baku is no secret for the world today, and we must try to show the heroism of the Azerbaijani people, the hard-working people of Azerbaijan all over the world. The documentary film produced recently also demonstrates the great contribution Azerbaijan has made to our common victory. Along with Azerbaijani oilmen, great dedication was also displayed by Azerbaijani workers. During the war, Azerbaijani industrial enterprises produced 130 kinds of arms and ammunition, which played an important role in achieving our victory.
All these historical facts are known to us. This should also be known to our young people and the whole world. We are talking and will always talk about the exceptional role of Azerbaijan in the victory over fascism. We will continue to inform the world about historical truth.
Unfortunately, the fascist ideology again raises its head in some places. We can’t allow this to happen or remain indifferent to this. The truth about the war is being distorted. Someone seems to be trying to rewrite history on the basis of lies or political orders. Some forces are trying to deny the decisive role of the Soviet army in the victory. This is intolerable and unacceptable. Therefore, all of us – veterans, politicians, the public and the world community – have to say and are saying our word on this issue.
In addition to the distortion of history, there is also a process of glorification of fascists. We must not tolerate this either because fascist ideology is the most dirty, dangerous and terrible ideology on the globe. The strengthening neo-fascist tendencies in different countries are causing legitimate concern. We thought that fascist ideology was over with and will never spring up again. But, unfortunately, we see that processions and a variety of other activities are held. Today this ideology is reviving under other names.
The anti-immigration movement in Europe is also based on the ideology of fascism, racism and discrimination. I believe that the world's politicians have to speak up. We talk and will continue to talk about what a terrible disaster neo-fascism is.
So I am very pleased that you, the veterans, as always, have an active position, and your word is very important. You are living witnesses and participants in the war, in this history.
Unfortunately, in the late 20th century the Azerbaijani people were faced with the Karabakh disaster, which also arose from the fascist ideology. We were faced with the occupation of Karabakh. At the end of the 20th century we were faced with Armenian fascism. The aggressive policy pursued against us, the Khojaly genocide committed against our people – these are the manifestations of Armenian fascism. Many papers, books and articles about Armenian fascism are published in the world today. We have assumed the main burden of exposing the Armenian fascism. Innocent people, women and children were killed because they were Azerbaijanis.
We are fighting the Armenian fascism and avenging our victims. We are taking and will continue to take the necessary measures to punish the fascists. Today the Azerbaijani army is taking all the necessary measures. At the same time, Armenia honors the memory of the Armenian fascists who served Hitler. Their names are being given to streets, squares and parks. You, the veterans, have sent a letter to the heads of state of several countries, writing about Armenian fascism and the glorification of fascists in Armenia. I welcome this. Everyone must know this. This is intolerable.
So the world knows and should know about the role of Azerbaijan in World War II and about our current position. Some countries are trying to deny historical truth today. I want to say again that they are trying to distort history and equate fascism to communism. This is intolerable.
Today, of course, we live in a free society. The market economy, political pluralism, democracy, a multi-party system – all this was impossible in Soviet times. But at the same time, to compare the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany is an injustice and a great crime.
We respect our historical past. In the past there were positive facts and bitter moments. The Azerbaijani people have often been faced with injustice, but we should never falsify history.
Today, a new history is being written. The independent Azerbaijan is writing its own history. It is a glorious history. Today, Azerbaijan is a country enjoying great respect in the world. Azerbaijan hosts major international events. The economic development of Azerbaijan today can serve as an example. In the years of crisis we do not back down from our principled policies. We are doing everything possible to improve people's welfare. Today, Azerbaijan's role in the world is fairly large, our positions are strong, there is stability and unity between the people and the government. Azerbaijan as a multinational country is an example in the area of inter-religious and inter-cultural relations. Today, the history of our independence is being written by you veterans and by the younger generation. Today we are free and independent, and this is our greatest asset. The independent state of Azerbaijan treats its veterans with great respect. This is a state policy, a fair policy.
I want to cordially congratulate you on the forthcoming wonderful holiday. I wish you good health and continued success again. Thank you.