Official reception on the occasion of the May 28 - Independence Day of the Republic of Azerbaijan was held at the Parsian Esteghlal International Hotel in Tehran
28th of May is the Independence Day of Azerbaijan, the day of the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) and a historic event when a democratic republic was created for the first time in the Muslim world in 1918. The date when the Government and state institutions, armed forces of Azerbaijan were created, a democratically-elected Azerbaijani parliament was formed, official state attributes of Azerbaijan were adopted.
The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic managed to do a lot, but did not last long and 23 months later, as a result of the military intervention, Azerbaijan was annexed to the Soviet Union in 1920. Azerbaijan Democratic Republic left an indelible mark in the history of national statehood with its rich state building experience and prepared a good basis for the future independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Annexation of Azerbaijan to the Soviet Union in 1920 shows again that it is even more difficult to maintain independence than to obtain it. As the successor of ADR, Azerbaijan once again regained its independence in 1991 and when Azerbaijan was again at the verge of civil war and loss of independence, Heydar Aliyev, National Leader of Azerbaijan assumed the responsibility of the country, saved the state and the nation of Azerbaijan from the hard and strict tests of history and Azerbaijan embarked on the path of development, ensured stability and the country began to confidently move forward.
If the creation of ADR, on May 28, 1918 was a historic event for Azerbaijani nation, the restoration of the territorial integrity of the modern independent Azerbaijan in 2020 became another glorious historic victory and achievement for Azerbaijan and its nation. Under the resolute command of the Supreme Commander-in-chief and due to the professionalism and heroism of victorious Azerbaijan Armed Forces whose 104th anniversary of its establishment will also be celebrated this year, and of course due to the high national spirit and strength, the Republic of Azerbaijan has fulfilled its historic mission. Glory to Allah, thanks to the dedication of our martyrs, Azerbaijan has again secured its territorial integrity. And in the last 2 years we celebrate the anniversary of the Independence Day of the Republic of Azerbaijan with double significance, after the liberation of the internationally recognized territories from almost 30 years of illegal Armenian occupation.
President of Azerbajan has declared 2022 as the Year of Shusha, the year of the crown city of Karabakh, the center of Azerbaijani culture which was under occupation for 28 years and where the peace, the restoration and reconstruction works, as well as the cultural events have returned after all these 28 years. The conflict has been over and our stance for the post-conflict situation is completely open. We want to sign a peace agreement based on the mutual recognition of the territorial integrity and invoyability of the borders and normalize relations with Armenia. We want to see the South Caucasus as a region of peace, cooperation and interaction.
After restoration of independence in 1991, our relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran have also been strengthened and developed. The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, who has visited the historical Khudafarin Bridge after the liberation of Azerbaijani lands, called the Azerbaijani-Iranian border the border of friendship and brotherhood and once again reiterated that the Republic of Azerbaijan attaches special importance to our interstate and people to people relations which was built on solid foundations. The Islamic Republic of Iran, which has always supported the territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan was also always eager to develope and deepen bilateral ties with Azerbaijan.
The cordial meeting of the Presidents of two countries in November last year and the decisions to further improve cooperation between the two countries contributed to the further development of our relations and entering into a qualitatively new stage. Just only in the period of one year, the signing of the MoU between the Governments of our countries on the establishment of new communication links between the Eastern Zangazur economic region and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan through Iran, the trilateral gas swap deal signed between Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan, the laying of foundation of the new bridge over Astarachay river, the resumption of direct flights, the participation of Iranian companies in the reconstruction works at the liberated territories of Azerbaijan and many other projects indicate that our relations are moving in the right direction. The fruitful works of the Joint State Commission, Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Groups and joint working groups in various fields between the two countries are continued, and mutual visits and regular meetings, signed documents give a strong impetus to strengthening of our cooperation.
Today, Azerbaijan under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev is one of the rapidly developing countries of the region and the world. According to the results of the first quarter of this year the economy has grown by 6.8 percent. Our non-oil economy has grown by more than 10 percent. Azerbaijan’s strategic foreign exchange reserves has also increased and exceeded USD 53 bln. Our foreign trade turnover has also increased by more than 60 percent and exports have almost doubled. Azerbaijan continues its dynamic progress and we are pleased that we were able to achieve the positive progress in our economical and trade ties with our friendly and neighbourly country Iran as well. The 30 % increase of trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Iran in the last year and 23 % increase in the 4 months of the present year are also the effective results of our cooperation.
The hearts of our fraternal peoples, connected with historical, cultural and spiritual values for centuries, have always been beating together and we remain committed to further strengthen our bilateral ties.
This year is significant for our countries because we are also commemorating 30th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. Taking this opportunity, I would like to congratulate the governments and the peoples of both countries on this significant occassion. I also congratulate all my countrymen on the occassion of the “May 28 - Independence Day of Azerbaijan”.
Azerbaijan and Iran are bound by the relations of strong friendship and I believe that our relations, based on the will of our fraternal peoples, will also continue to develop at the upward trajectory in the years ahead.
Long live Azerbaijan – Iran friendship!
May 24, 2022. Tehran.