|Sacred place: Mountain Park Martyrs' Avenue in Baku. — Photo courtesy of the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of events in Baku on January 20, 1990 that brought about the independence of Azerbaijan, Viet Nam News publishes an article by H. E. Mr. Anar Imanov, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Viet Nam.
Twenty-five years have passed since January 20, 1990 , which went down in the history of the Azerbaijani people as the Bloody January tragedy. This history was written with the blood of the martyrs who sacrificed themselves in recognition of Azerbaijan's independence. On October 18, 1991, the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan adopted a Declaration of Independence which was affirmed by a nationwide referendum in December 1991, when the Soviet Union was officially dissolved.
The Azerbaijani people buried the martyrs who sacrificed their lives on January 20 for the independence of the country in Mountain Park, the highest spot in Baku. Since then this place has been called Martyrs' Avenue and people mark January 20 as a National Day of Mourning. The Martyrs' Avenue is one of the most sacred places for every Azerbaijani. Every year millions of Azerbaijanis visit Martyrs' Avenue and lay carnations on the graves.
After regaining its independence the Republic of Azerbaijan started building diplomatic relations with foreign countries including Viet Nam. The diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Viet Nam were established on September 23, 1992.
In general, Azerbaijan and Viet Nam share long-standing historical relations. The foundation of traditional and friendly relations between the two countries was laid by the President Ho Chi Minh's visit to Azerbaijan in 1959 and Azerbaijani people's national leader Heydar Aliyev's visit to Viet Nam in 1983.
During the Soviet period a lot of Vietnamese students got higher education degrees in Azerbaijan and today most of them are represented in the different state and governmental structures of Viet Nam.
Azerbaijan's oil and gas specialists exchanged experience with their Vietnamese colleagues and actively participated in the development of Viet Nam's oil and gas industry.
In the last two years relations between the two countries were boosted with the establishment of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Viet Nam in 2013 and the state visit of H. E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, on May 18-19, 2014.
Vietnamese Government, Communist Party and Parliament officials paid a visit to Azerbaijan which contributed to the development of political, economic and inter-parliamentary relations. The establishment of the embassy and the exchange of high level visits opened possibilities for further development of bilateral and multilateral relations.
There is huge potential for both sides to develop co-operation in all spheres, particularly in the fields of energy, agriculture, tourism, education and culture.
In conclusion it should be noted that while Azerbaijan and Viet Nam saw many casualties from fighting for freedom and independence, both countries became much stronger.
Nowadays they are rapidly developing and each of them plays an important role in their region. Both sides believe in the bright future of the relations between Azerbaijan and Viet Nam, because the ties between the two countries are based on sincere and friendly relations between the two peoples. — VNS