Embassy of Azerbaijan in the United Kingdom has organized a ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
The event was also supported by Azerbaijani Women's Association in the UK (AWA-UK).
The event was attended by nearly 250 guests, including Sir Alan Duncan, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, Professor Nargiz Pashayeva, Rector of Baku branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University, co-chair of the Anglo-Azerbaijani Society, head of the Nizami Ganjavi Scientific Centre for the Study of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus at the University of Oxford, president of ANAS, academician Akif Alizadeh, academician-secretary of the Department of Humanitarian Sciences, academician Teymur Kerimli, head of Ataturk Center in Azerbaijan, academician Nizami Jafarov, ambassadors of more than 20 countries based in the UK, as well as representatives of embassies and high commissions based in London, members of the British parliament, British government officials, representatives of Embassy of Azerbaijan and the UK-based Azerbaijani organizations, media, and other friends of Azerbaijan.
Prior to the ceremony, Azerbaijani violinist Sabina Rakcheyeva performed the national anthems of Azerbaijan and the UK.
In his opening remarks, Azerbaijani Ambassador to the UK, Mr. Tahir Taghizade highlighted the history and milestone achievements of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. He described the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic as the first European model state in the Muslim world which was built on the foundations of political pluralism and multi-party system. The Ambassador said the ADR was pursuing the most democratic policy of its epoch. Tahir Taghizade said it was the ADR that put Azerbaijan on the global map. The Ambassador added that today's independent Azerbaijan is the successor of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and that Azerbaijan is loyal to all democratic traditions of the ADR and puts them into practice.
Ambassador Taghizade hailed Azerbaijan-UK relations, saying President Ilham Aliyev visited London on April 26 at the invitation of UK Prime Minister Theresa May where he held high-level meetings.
The Ambassador drew the audience`s attention to the results of the cultural relations between the two countries which are worth mentioning, in particular highlighting the performance of the Karabakh horses at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on May 9-13 and a concert by Yusif Eyvazov and Anna Netrebko at the Royal Albert Hall on May 23.
He commended the Anglo-Azerbaijani Society for its role in developing the cultural cooperation between Azerbaijan and the UK. In this context, the Ambassador pointed out the signing of a contract on the permanent existence of The Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Centre at the University of Oxford and naming of the library of the Oriental Institute of the University of Oxford after the great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi.
Ambassador Taghizade highlighted the ADR’s role in empowering defending women, saying it was the first country in the Muslim East to grant women the right to vote. He noted the role of the UK-based Azerbaijani Women's Association in preserving this legacy of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
UK Minister of State, Sir Alan Duncan said he was honored to attend a centennial celebration of Azerbaijan’s independence. He recalled his 2017 visit to Azerbaijan and President Ilham Aliyev`s visit to the UK in April, 2018.
He described the establishment of the first democratic republic in the East a hundred years ago as a landmark historic event. He noted that the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic granted women the right to vote long before the UK and many other democracies. Alan Duncan congratulated Azerbaijan on behalf of UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
The UK Minister of State said 2017 marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and the UK, adding that the two countries maintained mutually beneficial excellent relations and political cooperation.
Alan Duncan described BP as Azerbaijan`s largest energy partner, and said the extension of the contract on developing the giant Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli field would contribute to the further strengthening of BP-SOCAR relations. He also lauded Azerbaijan for its role in ensuring the energy security of Europe.
Alan Duncan said that both countries were making efforts to develop the bilateral relations in other areas beyond energy and economy, in particular in education.
He said the UK is proud of calling itself the friend of Azerbaijan, expressing his confidence that building on 25 years of cooperation both countries will continue to work together to ensure well-being and security of their people.
The guests then were offered the dishes and sweets from Azerbaijani cuisine.
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