Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the I Congress of the World Azerbaijanis - Baku, 10 November, 2001

   "...Dear fellow countrymen!

I want to repeat the words coming from the bottom of my heart: nationality of each person is a source of his pride. I have been always proud and I am proud today of being an Azerbaijani.

The supreme idea of independent Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijanity. Each Azerbaijani should be proud of his/her nationality. We must develop the Azerbaijanity – language, culture, national and spiritual values, traditions of Azerbaijan. The decision adopted by us on the development of Azerbaijani language pursues just this goal. We have passed a decision on transition to the Latin alphabet. Today, all the people in Azerbaijan, all the state institutions use only the Latin alphabet. This is an extremely important factor proving our national originality, the Azerbaijanity. We will henceforth continue our efforts for the development of Azerbaijani language.

You know, the language of every nation is very dear to it. The Azerbaijani language, our native language is very dear to us since it did not take the place ample enough in our life for many years. But despite it, every Azerbaijani has contributed more or less to preservation of Azerbaijani language. In particular, our writers, poets have done much for the development of the Azerbaijani language in those difficult periods.

Today I want to say with a feeling of pride that in the XX century the Azerbaijani language passed a great way of development. Pay attention what a rich, what a nice and melodious language we have and what a rich vocabulary it has for conveying our thoughts..."