Speech of Azerbaijan President, Supreme Commander-in-chief of Armed Forces Heydar Aliyev at the jubilee ceremony dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Military College named after Jamshid Nakhchivanski - April 19, 2003

Dear cadets, instructors, officers, general!

Ladies and gentlemen!

Today is the distinguished day in the life of the military lyceum named after Jamshid Nakhchivanski. Today we see the results of the reconstruction and refurbishment works carried out in the military lyceum in the course of the last year.

I would like to note that we allocated funds for reconstruction and refurbishment works in the military lyceum from the state budget, we mobilized construction personnel, I have given even the order to the Cabinet of Ministers to control these works. Today I am very pleased that the specialized school located formerly at the ordinary school building, today`s military lyceum named after Nakhchivanski covers an extended territory and all conditions for excellent activity of the lyceum are created.

I cordially congratulate you on this occasion and I hope that the cadets, instructors and officers of the lyceum will use these opportunities that will result in improvement of education.

I consider this lyceum as my own child. Because everybody knows how difficult was it for me to found this lyceum in 1971 - more that 30 years passed since that time - and I created a secondary school specialized in the military sphere. Here, in museum I was told that we were recruiting young people and children at that time. But we did not have considerable successes because many people didn`t understand what is this. There were 49 first-graduates of the school after 3 years of the first admission. And now look at it, the military lyceum leaves an expression of a large military unit. 800 persons are admitted to the school annually. 600 of the are admitted here, the other 200 - in the Nakhchivan branch of the school. This is a perfect result.

Today I feel happy that the school that I established with big difficulties is on such a high level. While founding this school I thought that Azerbaijani young people must serve in the army, however, for mastering the military profession they must study and receive education. At that period there was not interest to the military profession amongst youth of Azerbaijan. They were not guilty for that. Simply, this sphere was forgotten in Azerbaijan for a long time. Therefore, in order to make change in this sphere, we founded this specialized secondary school.

The military lyceum is always in my heart. I used to come and meet here with cadets, instructors and officers since 1971. Why? Since I was the head of the state and paid a special attention to this school, naturally, it caused the interest of other organizations. To say the truth, it was difficult also. Because people did not understand the importance of it. However, they understood and helped the military lyceum.

I left for Moscow to work there in 1982. But I used to interest with school every year. I remember, I came to Baku from Moscow for a few days. I had a lot of work to do, however, I thought one my main duties to come to the military lyceum. I came here and I got familiarized with situation here. After my departure, I helped to school while being in Moscow. Thus, the military lyceum developed. Unfortunately, the anarchy and chaos in Azerbaijan in 1989 - 1990s influenced the school also. The required attention to the military lyceum was not paid.

When I came to power in Azerbaijan again, I was interested in this school. The Head of the Council of Ministers adopted an unjustified decision according to which this school became a primary military school under the aegis of the Defense Ministry. How can it be a primary military school? It is already on the level of the secondary school. Those entered here have graduated already the 8th grade. While studying here during 3 years, they receive both secondary and military education. Entitling it a primary military school was the sign of thoughtlessness, indifference and lack of understanding of its importance. Of course, it made me anxious. After this I interested with school and I wanted to come here.

I scheduled a visit to the Higher Military school in 2000. I said that I want to go to the lyceum also. I was told that the situation there is not very good and it is not suitable to go there now. I got very anxious after this and I gave orders to the Cabinet of Ministers, Prime-Minister, Minister of Defense and other ministries to repair and restore everything there, build new premises and arrange everything. They did this work.

Once they reported me that they completed the works there. However, further as it turned out there was neither dormitory nor gymnasium. I gave additional orders and additional funds were allocated. Both dormitory and gymnasium were constructed; the swimming pool and everything were restored also. It pleases when one sees all this now. It is a big campus now. It is a true happiness to study and to receive education here. Therefore, our young people show interest in the military profession, they enter to the military lyceum and majority of them continue their education at the higher military schools. Consequently, we are strengthening our army and we create the sound basis for provision of our army with highly educated officers. This Monday we are going to celebrate the anniversary of the military lyceum named after Jamshid Nakhchivanski in the palace of Republic. There we will have a wider discussion. Saying all this I wanted to point out that after reconstruction and refurbishment this school is in a good situation.

Dear children!

Dear cadets!

I am sure that you will do your best to study here excellently. You will train yourselves physically. You will prepare yourselves for entering to the higher military schools and become valuable officers of Azerbaijan in the future; serving in our army you will contribute to the defense of Azerbaijan. The most important is that we will have a strong officer staff for the liberation of our territories from Armenian occupants.

I wish you all health and successes in your education and I hope that you will justify the confidence entrusted to you up to the end.

Thank you.