An article by Azerbaijani Ambassador to Tajikistan says the people of Azerbaijan at different stages of their history heroically overcame many hardships and difficult trials. There were many fateful moments in their history - and there were individuals who made history. The most obvious example of such a person who rewrote history is national leader Heydar Aliyev, the founder of today's independent and powerful Azerbaijan.

Despite the fact that Azerbaijan declared the restoration of its independence in 1991, the political crisis caused by the incompetence of the government, activities of internal and external destructive forces aimed at undermining the foundations of the state, the emergence of separatist tendencies in different regions, and severe socioeconomic situation put the country face-to-face with the threat of civil war and the loss of independence. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict made the situation in the republic even more exacerbated during that period.

The crisis of power in the country reached its peak in June 1993, the republic was engulfed in chaos and anarchy. The confrontation, which almost escalated into a civil war, became not only a direct threat to Azerbaijan independence, but even to its existence as a state. The country was inevitably moving towards disaster. At that turning point, and at that vital period, the Azerbaijani people needed a leader with an exceptional mind and great political experience with a decisive character. The aggravated political situation every day and the deteriorating social situation of the population led to the return of Heydar Aliyev to the leadership of the country.

And in such a fateful moment, the Azerbaijani people trusted their future to outstanding statesman Heydar Aliyev. After returning to Baku by popular demand, Heydar Aliyev was elected as chairman of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan on 15 June 1993 and as President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on 3 October of the same year.

It was thanks to Heydar Aliyev’s salvation mission that the processes threatening the state independence of Azerbaijan were thwarted and state-building issues were put in the focus of attention.

Over the following years, Azerbaijan literally revived. Thanks to the determination and visionary policies of the national leader, the historic "Contract of the Century" was signed, and the revival of the national economy began. Azerbaijan created professional regular army. In addition, Azerbaijan has become active in the foreign diplomacy. All this led to the fact that gradually, step by step, Azerbaijan was formed as an independent, strong and developing state. Thus, 15 June went down in the history of Azerbaijan as the National Salvation Day.

The key priorities of National Leader Heydar Aliyev’s policy included achieving a ceasefire with Armenia, establishing public and political stability, building a democratic system and liberal economy, ensuring national army building and security, implementing a new oil strategy, accelerating Azerbaijan’s integration into the international arena, and achieving a fair settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

1995 marked the launch of drastic reforms in all spheres of public life, a new Constitution was adopted, a multi-party system was built, political pluralism became a norm of society, freedom of speech and press was ensured. In parallel, significant steps were taken to build a market economy, the world`s leading companies were involved in exploiting the hydrocarbon resources in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, routes for the transportation of oil to the world market were defined and resources to ensure Azerbaijan’s development were made available in a short period of time.

Heydar Aliyev pursued a consistent and purposeful policy to transform Azerbaijan into a reliable partner in the system of international relations, raising the world community`s awareness of the material, spiritual and intellectual values of the country, secure the interests of the Azerbaijani state both in the region and in the world by taking into account the key aspects of national security and development.

National Salvation Day is not just a holiday in the calendar for the Azerbaijani people, it is a day of great social, political and historical significance. The 1993-2003 time period, when Heydar Aliyev was in power and was elevated to the status of National Leader for his unparalleled services to the Azerbaijani people and state, marked a historic stage when Azerbaijan emerged as a state, formed and transformed into a full-fledged subject of the international community. These 10 years saw the implementation of the national development strategy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the people of Azerbaijan benefited from a rare historic opportunity and made their independence everlasting and irreversible at the cost of great suffering. He relied on the trust of the people, at the same time becoming a support and protection for the Azerbaijani people.

Today, Azerbaijan faces even greater goals and plans. Every passing day brings Azerbaijan even closer to these goals. Today, the leading world circles openly admit that Azerbaijan, along with becoming the most powerful country in the region, is increasing its political weight on the world stage day by day.

Thanks to Heydar Aliyev, a solid foundation was laid on which, under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, today's Azerbaijan was built - a victorious country, a leader in the region in absolutely every respect.

Azerbaijan has become stronger, gained a high politically, economically, and militarily reputation in the world and achieved great development and stability as a result of the socio-economic policy which successfully continued by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. 

The Republic of Azerbaijan has enriched the energy map of the region and Europe, and as a country that implements an independent economic policy, acts as an initiator and active participant in a number of global energy and transport projects.

Today's Azerbaijan is among the strongest countries of the world in the truest sense of the word, and can serve as an example for many countries both in the world and in the region in terms of the correct choice of domestic policy priorities.

Unanimous decision of all countries of the world to hold COP29, an international conference on climate change, in Azerbaijan is another sign of tremendous respect and reverence from the international community, as well as a high assessment of Azerbaijan transition to green energy.

The flag of Azerbaijan, raised by Heydar Aliyev for the first time after the restoration of independence, also flying proudly today in all the lands of Azerbaijan.