To the staff of the newspaper "Azerbaijan" - Baku, September 14, 1998

Newspaper "Azerbaijan" which has played a special role in the history of independence of Azerbaijan is 80. Since it started its activity in 1918 as the official organ of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, it has been in forefront of the struggle for national liberation, become the mouthpiece of long-term desires and aspirations of our people, and made a worthy contribution to the formation of its spiritual values, social and political ideals.

"Azerbaijan" ceased its publication after the fall of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, renewed its activity when our people got their independence in 1991. It took an active part in implementing the ideas of freedom and sovereignty.

Today "Azerbaijan" continues the progressive traditions of the press worthily in our country, plays a crucial role in ensuring democracy, political pluralism and transparency. The realities of Azerbaijan, building of a legal state and civil society in the country, economic reforms, creation of a healthy-spiritual psycho-logical environment, civic solidarity and national unity and other conducted purposeful works and socio-political processes are highlighted without any bias in its pages.

"Azerbaijan" is facing big challenges in strengthening our national independence and the establishment of a free, democratic society as other organs of press in the country. I believe that the staff of "Azerbaijan", which has displayed irreversible loyalty to high ideals in all the periods of its activity, will demonstrate a high level of professionalism, objectivity, integrity, and true national citizenship in conveying to the public and in the spread of the truth about our country to the world and be able to continue the progressive traditions of the press of our people adequately.

I congratulate you cordially on the 80th anniversary of the newspaper "Azerbaijan", which bears the name of our country, and which is of the same age as our democracy, our national state, and I wish your staff much greater successes.

Heydar Aliyev,
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan