Margherita Costa, former Italian ambassador to Azerbaijan: “Heydar Aliyev was a phenomenal personality”

Rome, November 17, AZERTAC

Heydar Aliyev was a unique personality. He combined courage, sensitivity, intelligence, affection, kindness, a sense of humor, and political vision.

Former Italian Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Honorary Consul of Azerbaijan in Liguria, Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta and Lombardy, based in Genoa, Margherita Costa told AZERTAC.

He said that the large projects of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum oil and gas pipelines carried out within the framework of the “Contract of the Century” initiated by Heydar Aliyev allowed the production and export of Azerbaijani energy resources. Heydar Aliyev has played an outstanding role in building and developing relations between Azerbaijan and Italy.

“In 2002, when the tenth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Azerbaijan was celebrated, Pope John Paul II came to Baku at the invitation of Heydar Aliyev. This was an important milestone, which demonstrated to the world the level of tolerance and respect by different religions in Azerbaijan. In my opinion, “respect” is the highest value. Because respect implies reciprocity, and I believe that nothing is possible without respect. A clear manifestation of religious tolerance in Azerbaijan is the Armenian Church in Baku , that no one has thought of vandalizing”, said our interlocutor.

Sharing her good memories of Heydar Aliyev, Margherita Costa said: “I remember when Heydar Aliyev brought Niccolò Paganini’s violin to Baku and gave it to a 16-year-old boy. This is the brightest example of the care that Heydar Aliyev and the people of Azerbaijan lend themselves to music and talented youth.

But what I remember the most is Heydar Aliyev’s sense of humor. President Heydar Aliyev received guests and ambassadors on the occasion of an important event. When it was my turn, he smiled and said, “Margherita khanim, every time I see you, I want to hug you.” I asked: “Then why don’t you hug me?” “Here, in front of the cameras?” Heydar Aliyev asked. “Of course,” I replied. Heydar Aliyev hugged me, and I said: “You have put me in an awkward position, because there are three other female diplomats here, now you have to hug them too.” Heydar Aliyev hugged all the female ambassadors and said: “I wish all the ambassadors were women. Then I would hug the whole world.”

All of this is a testament to Heydar Aliyev’s sensitivity, intellect and courage. He was an unforgettable person.”

The former Italian ambassador to our country recalled that the death penalty in Azerbaijan was stopped only during the leadership of Heydar Aliyev.

“Heydar Aliyev had characteristics such as devotion to his flag, dedication to work and honesty. These traits have also been inherited by Heydar Aliyev’s son, Ilham Aliyev, and one of the greatest women in the world: Mehriban Aliyeva, a who I love and respect a lot,” said Margherita Costa.

AZERTAG.AZ : Margherita Costa, former Italian ambassador to Azerbaijan: “Heydar Aliyev was a phenomenal personality”

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Margherita Costa, former Italian ambassador to Azerbaijan: “Heydar Aliyev was a phenomenal personality”