Democratic traditions foundation of Azerbaijan independence, says envoy

ISLAMABAD  -   Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Pakistan, Khazar Farhadov, has said that since the early years of its independence, Azerbaijan had been determined to strengthen the democratic traditions and national statehood that were the foundation of its independence.

“Today, we celebrate the 106th anniversary of our independence, and the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was established on May 28, 1918, and that is the first democratic republic in the Muslim East,” Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Pakistan, Khazar Farhadov said on the occasion of Independence Day (May 28, 1918) of the Republic of Azerbaijan here.

The Ambassador said that within a remarkably brief span, Azerbaijan established its first parliament and government, defined its borders, instituted state attributes, and carried out crucial state-building measures. He said that important steps were taken in the fields of state building, recognition of the republic as a subject of international relations, and protection of its national interests.

The Azerbaijan envoy said the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, though it had an existence of only 23 months, played a pivotal role in the formation of democratic traditions and the history of national statehood and laid a solid foundation for the future independence of the republic by strengthening the sentiments of freedom and independence.

He said, “The legal successor of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the independent Republic of Azerbaijan, restored its independence in 1991 and managed to preserve its sovereignty thanks to the great leader of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, who has made an immense contribution to the people and the state of Azerbaijan,” Khazar Farhadov said.

“Azerbaijan has been implementing the policy of Heydar Aliyev, continuing and enriching it under the leadership of Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.”

“From the first day of our independence, we felt Pakistan’s full support for the Republic of Azerbaijan, both in bilateral format and within the framework of international organisations,” he said.

The Ambassador said that in 2020, under the leadership of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan liberated its internationally recognised territories from the almost 30-year occupation by Armenia, implementing UN Security Council 4 resolutions of 1993.

He said, “Over the past years, Azerbaijan has successfully chaired several important organisations, such as the UN Security Council, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organisation of Turkic States, and many others.”

This month, on May 1–3, the 6th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, themed “Dialogue for Peace and Global Security: Cooperation and Inter-connectivity,” was held at the Baku Convention Centre,” he said.

He said, “The Republic of Azerbaijan was chosen to host COP29 in December 2023 with unanimous support from all countries, and it showcases the recognition of Azerbaijan`s leadership and efforts in addressing climate change at the national, regional, and global scales.”

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan was one of the first countries to recognise the independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan on December 12, 1991, he informed.

The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on June 9, 1992.

Khazar Farhadov said, “The relations between Pakistan and Azerbaijan continue to grow on an upward trajectory in all fields.”

He said, “Direct flights between Azerbaijan and Pakistan (from Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore), which have been operated since 2022 by PIA and 2023 by AZAL, tremendously contribute to these relations.”

He said, “More than fifty thousand Pakistani tourists visited Azerbaijan in 2023. I have to mention that Pakistan is one of the countries that is included in the online ASAN visa system of Azerbaijan.”

The Ambassador said, “The citizens of Pakistan can easily obtain a visa online within three hours to visit Azerbaijan, and this direct connectivity brings people from all circles of the two countries closer.”

In December 2022, the government of Azerbaijan, taking into account fraternal relations, exempted rice from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan with the same origin from import customs duty, he said.

“It is not a coincidence that the trade turnover between the two brotherly countries reached up to $100 million.”

Meanwhile, on the occasion, Coordinator to the Prime Minister on Climate Change and Environmental Coordination, Romina Khurshid Alam, addressing the ceremony as chief guest, said that, while representing the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, “I would like to say that Azerbaijan has made unprecedented progress since its independence, and the roots of mutual relations between Pakistan and Azerbaijan are strong in history.”

She said, “The relations between the two countries are getting deeper and stronger day by day after independence, and the people of both countries are also coming closer to each other.”

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