Friday, 28/05/2021 08:19

Azerbaijan: achievements and new opportunities

Azerbaijan Ambassador Anar Imanov writes to Việt Nam News to mark the country's Republic Day

On May 28, 2021, Azerbaijan celebrates the 103rd anniversary of Republic Day. On this day more than a century ago, in 1918, Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence and the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) was founded as the first secular democratic state in the East.

Among the important accomplishments of the ADR was the establishment of the parliament, as well as the extension of suffrage to women, making Azerbaijan one of the first countries in the world to grant women equal political rights with men.

In the first Declaration of Independence, the country granted equal rights to all citizens, regardless of race, religion or gender. In 23 months, the ADR’s government adopted several laws, implemented political, military, legal and economic reforms and created the first university. 

The first Azerbaijan Democratic Republic ceased to exist on April 28, 1920. The establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic on May 28, 1918, was a historic event and one of the glorious pages in the history of Azerbaijan. 

Baku Maiden Tower, a 12th-century monument in the Old City, Baku, Azerbaijan. Photos courtesy of the embassy

Azerbaijan gained independence after the break-up of the USSR in 1991 and announced itself as the legal successor of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. After the restoration of independence, Azerbaijan faced serious challenges and the biggest was the territorial issue with neighbouring Armenia. As a result of ethnic cleansing, almost 1 million Azerbaijanis were forced to leave their homes and became refugees and internally displaced persons. The decisions of the most influential international organizations, including UN Security Council resolutions, demanded the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan remained unfulfilled for almost 30 years.

In Autumn 2020 Azerbaijan liberated its occupied lands and restored its territorial integrity.

Azerbaijan is now planning to rebuild all its cities and villages destroyed during the occupation. Almost all human settlements, all cities and villages, many cultural, religious and historical monuments in the liberated territories are completely destroyed. Also, those lands are packed with millions of mines installed by the Armenian army. Unfortunately, so far Azerbaijan has not been given the maps of minefields to facilitate demining of the liberated territories. Nevertheless, all liberated lands of Azerbaijan will be rebuilt and almost 1 million Azerbaijani refugees will finally return to their homes. As it was stated by the President of Azerbaijan, those lands will be turned into heaven, it will be a territory of green energy, smart cities and villages, high technology infrastructure and an eco-friendly economy. 

Heydar Aliyev Center, an architectural master piece in Baku, Azerbaijan, designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. 

In this regard, companies from friendly countries, including Việt Nam, are welcome to participate in the rebuilding activities.

In this regard I would like to stress that Azerbaijan and Việt Nam have already planned and implemented several measures on boosting economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. In about a month we plan to hold online Business Forum in order to give opportunities for the business community to establish direct contacts and develop cooperation. Also, in the end of June a third meeting of Azerbaijan-Vietnam Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Trade, Scientific and Technical Cooperation is scheduled to be held in video format. Some other events are planned to be organized later this year. As it is seen, despite difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic both sides are keen to implement necessary measures to further develop bilateral cooperation.

Azerbaijan and Việt Nam enjoy traditionally friendly relationship and I am confident that we will soon witness significant development of mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in all spheres. VNS

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