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Spotlight Article

In Memory of National Leader Haydar Aliyev

Azerbaijan America Alliance
December 15, 2014

Last Friday Azerbaijan remembered the life of one of its greatest political leaders, National Leader Haydar Aliyev. President Haydar Aliyev was elected in 1993 and served until 2003 when his son, current President Ilham Aliyev, succeeded him. On December 12 National Leader Haydar Aliyev passed away in Cleveland Hospital in the United States of America.

National Leader Haydar Aliyev was an incredibly effective and revered politician. Interestingly National Leader Haydar Aliyev began his education at the Architecture Department of the Azerbaijan Industry Institute; however, political turmoil impeded his graduation. No longer pursuing a career in architecture, National Leader Haydar Aliyev became the head of a department at the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs of the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Nakhchyvan in 1941. By 1967 National Leader Haydar Aliyev had risen to the rank of lieutenant general and held the position of chairman of the Committee of State Security under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan. While his political career began advancing, National Leader Haydar Aliyev earned a degree in History from Azerbaijan State University.

Eventually in 1990, having resigned from his post as an elected a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party in a sign of protest, National Leader Haydar Aliyev returned to Azerbaijan.

In 1993 Azerbaijan was in a state of crisis, National Leader Haydar Aliyev responded to the need for leadership and was elected Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan. In May and June 1993, the country was at the verge losing its independence and falling into civil war. In the face of extreme tension and governmental crisis, the people of Azerbaijan demanded to bring to power National Leader Heydar Aliyev. He was elected President of Independent Azerbaijan with 76.1% of the votes.

President Haydar Aliyev and President Clinton


National Leader Haydar Aliyev is now remembered not only for his political accomplishments and leadership during Azerbaijan’s infancy, but also for his legacy. National Leader Haydar Aliyev received awards, medals, and honorary professorships from around the world. In Azerbaijan the Heydar Aliyev Foundation was founded in the former president’s memory. The foundation sponsors and initiates in an incredible variety of efforts and events to contribute to the social and economic development of Azerbaijan. The Haydar Aliyev Foundation has worked in spheres as varied as education, public health, culture, sports, science and technology, environment, and social welfare.

Azerbaijan’s leaders and people have honored the memory of National Leader Haydar Aliyev in the years since his death through the Foundation. National Leader Haydar Aliyev’s leadership has been so impactful, that the accomplishments attributed to his memory equal the accomplishments of his life. 

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