National leader Heydar Aliyev has irreplaceable merits before the state and people of Azerbaijan”, the former general director of UNESCO Koichiro Matsuura who told the AZERTAC correspondent.
K. Matsuura noted that for the first time he visited Azerbaijan in April 2000 on the invitation of President Heydar Aliyev for participation in the summit of heads of the Turkish speaking countries, devoted to the 1300th anniversary of the epos “Kitabi-Dede- Gorgud”. As he said, he was deeply impressed by this action. K. Matsuura has been admired by high level of the action organized under the leadership of great leader Heydar Aliyev. The interesting moment at this summit, as he noted, was that heads of the states participating in action freely spoke with each other without the help of translator.
Noting that he didn’t only take part at the summit, but also tried to closely familiarize himself with the Land of Fire, its customs and traditions, life, culture and history. “At that time, Heydar Aliyev was already 77, but was very healthy and strong. He was very attentive to me as I didn’t know the Turkish language and I was very much touched by this”.
K. Matsuura underlined that national leader Heydar Aliyev has drawn for a long time his attention as a wise statesman trying for all-round development of his country. This great person made all efforts not only for cultural development, but also for all-round progress and modernization of society. Having reminded that exactly at that time he got acquainted with the incumbent President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva, president of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the former general director of UNESCO told that this acquaintance became a close friendship later. Having underlined that national leader Heydar Aliyev possesses invaluable merits before the Azerbaijani people and the state, K. Matsuura told that thanks to intense work of this outstanding politician Azerbaijan became an independent state and reached today's level.
K. Matsuura noted that after that meeting between Azerbaijan and UNESCO was established close cooperation. As he said, Azerbaijan has brought great contribution to world cultural heritage. This cooperation promoted wider propagation of the Azerbaijan culture in the world.
The former general director of UNESCO noted that there was now an opportunity for development of Azerbaijani-Japanese relations. Having underlined that still there is a requirement for expansion of cooperation in some areas, Matsuura said that for this purpose there is a high potential. As he said, the regularity of visits at high level can render a great influence on cooperation strengthening. Steps which are planned to undertake that Japanese have better learned Azerbaijani, and the Azerbaijanis – the Japanese language, can bring together two peoples even more. K. Matsuura with great satisfaction underlined that last years, Azerbaijan has become the center of large international actions. Having wished successes to the Azerbaijani people, K. Matsuura said that with great pleasure he will participate in the next International Humanitarian Forum to take place in October this year in Baku.