ISSN 2330-717X

Heydar Aliyev: Founding Father Of Modern Azerbaijan – OpEd

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On May 10, 2022, the Republic of Azerbaijan and its people commemorated the 99th birthday anniversary of the nation’s great leader Heydar Aliyev.  On this occasion, it is important to reflect upon the legacy and statecraft of Heydar Aliyev, as Europe’s unique visionary leader in the decade of 1990s; whose determination and statecraft has transformed Azerbaijan, from a war-torn nation, into a prosperous and economically dynamic country in the heart of Eurasia. 

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The leadership, wisdom, fortitude and patriotism of national leader Heydar Aliyev equipped the Republic of Azerbaijan with a versatile prowess in its Armed Forces and a well-diversified national economy.  Heydar Aliyev is the architect of a modern, highly developed Azerbaijan; the public policies and foreign policy that he implemented – and in the present continue to maintain a vibrant Azerbaijani society under the current leadership of President Ilham Aliyev – are a source of inspiration and a guiding force to other European nations.  Heydar Aliyev is the founding father of a democratic, independent and thriving nation of Azerbaijan; a country that reflects upon the world a genuine religious harmony, genuine interfaith dialogue. The International Affairs professionals, diplomats, engineers and scientists of Azerbaijan are highly accomplished globally thanks to the guidance and impeccable vision that Heydar Aliyev had constantly invested towards promoting Azerbaijan in the world stage.  Across Europe, in its last fifty years of history, it is hard to find a second a head of state (prime minister, president) that embodied, emitted, and instilled upon his countrymen the values of patriotism, perseverance, hard work, honest public service and the desire to strengthen the agricultural economy and energy economics; at the same level that we assess and observe during the tenure of Heydar Aliyev.  The Republic of Azerbaijan is a country with a stable democratic government, highly developed armed forces, a national economy that is envied by Europe’s wealthiest nations and is home to Eurasia’s highly developed defense industry; all these inspiring accomplishments are made possible thanks to the guidance, conduct and conviction of Heydar Aliyev.  These priorities and national interests are upheld and shifted into a higher level of performance under the current leadership of President Ilham Aliyev. 

The Armed Forces of Azerbaijan have impressed the world with the conduct of the 44 days war in September – November 2020, when the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan was liberated thanks to the bravery and military expertise of Azerbaijan Armed Forces.  These military skills and strategic financial support; Azerbaijan Foreign Policy; Public Diplomacy; Energy Economics; Research and Development, were allocated at the inception of Heydar Aliyev’s presidency (1993 – 1994); such a national strategy is in fact the bedrock of Azerbaijan’s successful military campaign to liberate its sovereign territories; from the farmlands of Kalbajar to Zəngilan (the liberation of Aghband settlement) and from Qubadli District to Khojavend District and Tartar District.    

On September 3rd, 2008, the U. S. Vice President Richard B. Cheney, visited Baku; this official visit marks the pinnacle of Heydar Aliyev’s presidency and underscores the strategic importance that energy security, energy economics, environmental economics had garnered in the national development of Azerbaijan as well as embody Azerbaijan’s aspirations to participate in the International Relations’ concept of balance of power.  Together with the United States, Azerbaijan seeks greater stability, security and cooperation in the outskirts of Europe, in the Caucasus which is vital region of the world.

Under the leadership of Heydar Aliyev, the Republic of Azerbaijan has shaped joined efforts together with Washington to ensure a greater cooperation in the energy industry and provide a peace of mind to 

European industrial parks by developing natural gas pipelines that connect the Caspian Sea Shah Deniz gas field with Italian Energy Group and other industrial sectors of Central Europe.  

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Baku and Washington share the goal of energy security for Europe and international community, Heydar Aliyev has devoted his entire life to the cause of peace; his unbridled guidance made possible to secure one of the basic foundations of security and peace and that is the full recovery of Azerbaijan’s national borders; only seventeen years after his passing.  Heydar Aliyev was a master of geopolitical chess game, he emerged as Europe’s undimming beacon of freedom that attracted significant attention within the United States Foreign Policy architects (Henry Alfred Kissinger, Andrew J. Bacevich Jr,  Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzeziński, Susan Elizabeth Rice and others) to stand by and help the people of Azerbaijan to consolidate their national independence, sovereignty, bolster their national economy, and pursue a vibrant integration as a valued, respected member state of the International Community.

The leadership style and statecraft of Heydar Aliyev has reached transatlantic corridors including the Republic of Paraguay, where Mr. Rolando Segovia-Páez has established (in 2016), the Heydar Aliyev Center for Azerbaijan Studies in the National University of the East, Paraguay. 

Furthermore, the Hakari and Bargushad rivers in Azerbaijan have strategic importance, they are located inside Azerbaijan’s territories that were liberated from Armenian occupation [in the 2020 Second Karabakh War], these territories are rich in natural resources, including water resources.  About 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s water resources are located on liberated lands and the plan to liberate these lands was shaped under the presidency of Heydar Aliyev; by bolstering Azerbaijan’s National Defense Industry; increasing the economic parameters of national production and developing the international cooperation in energy industry.  The Bargushad and Hakari rivers flow through the territory of Gubadli district. The Hakari river originates in the Lachin district; its length is 113 kilometers, and the average annual water consumption is nearly 10.7 cubic meters per second. Its largest branch is the Zabukh river; these water resources are vital for the development of local agricultural sector and national leader Heydar Aliyev has pursued a pragmatic statecraft during the first decade of independent Azerbaijan; a strategic leadership that enabled the current president Ilham Heydar Aliyev to commemorate and show the international community, the full control and sovereignty of Azerbaijan’s natural riches. 

Thanks to the steadfast conduct of Heydar Aliyev, the United States reaffirms its commitment, and determination to strengthen relations with Azerbaijan — not just today, but for the long term.  America strongly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Washington is committed to achieving a greater level of economic relations with Baku.

America also appreciates Azerbaijan’s commitment to working with Western countries on energy issues. All peoples are best served when market principles are allowed to work; a concept that Heydar Aliyev had harnessed, when there is a transparency of information, when energy export routes are diverse and reliable. The United States, convinced by national leader Heydar Aliyev over the years, strongly believes that, together with the nations of Europe, including the Republic of Türkiye, the White House must work closely with Azerbaijan and foster a better integration structure across Eurasia so that Baku maintains its exceptional geopolitical role. 

Peter Tase

Peter Tase is a freelance writer and journalist of International Relations, Latin American and Southern Caucasus current affairs. He is the author of America's first book published on the historical and archeological treasures of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan (Republic of Azerbaijan); has authored and published four books on the Foreign Policy and current economic – political events of the Government of Azerbaijan. Tase has written about International Relations for Eurasia Review Journal since June 2012.

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