Viet Nam News
Lit up: Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan illuminated at night. — Photo courtesy of the embassy
On the occasion of the National Day of Azerbaijan, Ambassador Anar Imanov sends a message to Việt Nam News readers.
Millions of Azerbaijanis living in Azerbaijan and across the world celebrated May 28 as the establishment of the first independent and secular democratic state in the Islamic world — the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR).
The ADR was established on May 28, 1918 with the goal of building an independent, free and democratic republic. It went down in the chronicles of the Azerbaijani nation as a great and historic event and marked a glorious page in Azerbaijan’s history.
The ADR was a pioneer that combined both European democratic values and the abundant cultural heritage of the East in one entity. All citizens of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, regardless of their ethnic and religious affiliation, were granted the right to vote. In 1919 women gained suffrage for the first time in the Islamic world and much earlier than women of several Western countries.
In difficult circumstances, the founders of the ADR chose the most advanced and democratic form of government of their time. The Declaration of Independence — the policy document of the new republic — expressed commitment to principles of democracy and a secular and parliamentary state, and these principles were followed to the very end.
This document envisaged Azerbaijan’s independence, declared the people of Azerbaijan as the source of the government and ensured political rights and citizenship to all its residents regardless of their nationality, faith, class and gender.
The state was governed on the basis of laws and regulations adopted by the Parliament. During the 17 months of its uninterrupted activities, the Parliament of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan had left an indelible imprint in the history of Azerbaijani statehood in general, and the parliamentary culture in particular, by its valuable experience of building an independent state and adopting a number of highly professional legislative documents.
From the earliest days of the existence of the Republic, fundamental measures were taken in state building — from the adoption of state attributes to addressing complex state problems. Moreover, the establishment of Baku State University, the first modern university on the territory of Azerbaijan, was a demonstration of the value the fledgling republic placed on education. These values — equality, tolerance, and an early focus on education, marked the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic as a fundamentally progressive state with its face turned squarely to the future.
The main aim of the foreign policy of the ADR was the promoting of the newly established state. The new government, therefore, conducted an active foreign policy from its inception. Information was sent to a number of European countries about the establishment of the new state. Following active diplomatic work by the ADR in January 11, 1920 the independence of Azerbaijan was recognized de-facto in the assembly of the Supreme Council of the Paris Peace Conference. Following this, some countries opened their representative offices in Baku and some established diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan.
The beautiful architecture of Baku City.
In April 1920, due to foreign invasion, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic ceased to exist.
The creation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and its activities for two years was a historic event, Azerbaijan is a country that not only declared high democratic values 100 years ago, but also applied them. Today’s independent Azerbaijan is the legal successor of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. We are loyal to all democratic traditions of ADR and we are putting them into practice.
Since the restoration of independence in 1991, the Republic of Azerbaijan has achieved numerous successes in different fields such as energy and industry, information technologies, agriculture, healthcare, education, and culture.
Huge energy, transport and infrastructure projects have been implemented. As a result of successful foreign and domestic policy pursued under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, the Republic of Azerbaijan has become a leading state of the South Caucasus region.
The relationship between Azerbaijan and Việt Nam has a historical background. We used to have very active cooperation and people-to-people contacts. A lot of Vietnamese students received their higher education in Azerbaijan in the 70s and 80s. Many of our specialists, mostly in oil and gas sectors, used to work here in Viet Nam helping Vietnamese friends to develop the country after long years of war.
At present, relations between Azerbaijan and Việt Nam are actively developing, and mutually beneficial co-operation within the framework of various formats is expanding.
Close co-operation has been established between the New Azerbaijan Party and the Việt Nam Communist Party. Interparliamentary cooperation is actively developing. The Azerbaijan — Việt Nam Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Commercial, Scientific and Technical Co-operation, established between the two countries, gave wide opportunities for a detailed discussion of the prospects for future mutually beneficial cooperation. Thus, the activity of the Commission contributes to the expansion of co-operation between the two countries in various fields.
Also, historically existing co-operation between Azerbaijan and Việt Nam in the humanitarian field is developing successfully. Implementing mutual visits of officials and holding a series of events in both countries have contributed to our cooperation in the humanitarian field.
I am confident that in the future we will witness even more strengthening and deepening of relations between Azerbaijan and Việt Nam. — VNS