From Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

His Excellency Mr Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Your Excellency, esteemed Ilham Heydarovich,

I cordially congratulate you on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

25 years ago the people of Azerbaijan chose the path of independent development of their country. This decision was meant to establish state and public institutions able to properly ensure the activities of the independent sovereign republic and justify the people`s hopes.

Your father, a respected and influential leader, Heydar Alirzayevich made a monumental contribution to the building of a new Azerbaijan. After being elected as President, he assumed the responsibility for the fate of the country and succeeded in laying the foundation of its comprehensive development.

It is pleasant to see that under your leadership representatives of different nations and religions live and work together in peace.

I would like to especially thank you for your attention to the activities of Baku Eparchy of Russian Orthodox Church, as well as to the preservation of local traditions and rich cultural heritage, moral and ethical upbringing of the people in the spirit of patriotism, and for your support of interreligious dialogue and fruitful church-state partnership, which aims to contribute to ensuring social stability and public solidarity.

I wish you invincible strength and accomplishments in your services to your people, and all residents of Azerbaijan peace and prosperity.

Best regards,

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

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