Congratulatory speech of the Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev to personnel of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan - June 25, 2002

Dear soldiers, generals, officers, sergeants, sailors and warrant officers!

Veterans of the Armed forces!

I heartily congratulate you on the occasion of Day of the Armed Forces of the Azerbaijan Republic - a significant holiday in the life of our people and the state, in destiny of each Azerbaijanis, I wish each of you strong health, happiness and success in carrying out of such sacred duty, as providing of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state.

On June 26, 1918 the Council of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic made the decision on creation of the Detached Azerbaijan Corps being the first national army unit. This decision was a legal basis for creation of Army of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic - the first democratic state on the Muslim East. At that time the Azerbaijan army being formed for short term and distinguished by its high military preparation, discipline, patriotism of personnel, professionalism of officers and generals, performed important work in the field of defense of the Azerbaijan state.

The Armed forces of the Azerbaijan Republic, restoring the state independence at the end of XX century, are the worthy successor of National Army and the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. Our Armed forces reordered and fortified since November, 1993 due to the will of a leadership of Azerbaijan, patriotism and persistence of our people, have proved that they were worthy of glorious pages of our history, hope and trust of our people.

Today the Azerbaijan Army is equipped with modern military techniques, reliably ruled and it has turned into the Armed Forces to meet the requirements of a modern military science and principles of army construction. Now the Azerbaijan army possesses sufficient might to strike a crushing blow to any enemy encroaching upon our statehood and people.

We try to settle the Armenian-Azerbaijan, the Upper Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh) conflict by peace talks on the basis of compromises. But carrying out peace talks, we at the same time should constantly strengthen our military potential, our defensibility. As much as our Armed forces will be stronger, our position will become stronger in peace talks, and an opportunity for achievement of the fair peace will be greater.

On this holiday day once again I declare that the service in Armed Forces of the Azerbaijan Republic is a source of boundless pride and honorary duty for each citizen of Azerbaijan, for each young man. Each young man served in army, executed his civic duty, should be recognized as the most valuable person in all spheres of our life. The Azerbaijan army should be surrounded with attention and care of Azerbaijan people, all state bodies and citizens.

On this holiday with a feeling of respect and gratitude I want to call to memory of our citizens becoming martyrs in the name of protection of the Azerbaijan grounds. May Allah rest their soul in peace.

Once again I congratulate all of you, I wish each of you a sound health, long life and pleasure of a victory.

Long live the hero and patriot Azerbaijan soldiers!

Heydar Aliyev, Supreme Commander-in-chief of Armed Forces, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan