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Azerbaijan National day

25 July 2019

Charge d’Affaires Azad Naghiyev of Azerbaijan detailed the deep history of Azerbaijan’s diplomacy at a reception to celebrate Azerbaijan’s national day and the 100th anniversary of the diplomatic service of Azerbaijan.. This diplomacy, he said, goes back to medieval times. Many diplomatic correspondence and diplomatic missions’ reports of 14–15 centuries can be found in the archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan. These reports have shown the extensive diplomatic relations between medieval Azerbaijani states with those of Europe, Middle East, Russia and Asia.

Azerbaijan has been a favorable geographical location at the crossroads of the trade routes connecting the North with the South and the East with the West. Azerbaijan for many centuries has been one of the most important trade centers of the ancient Silk Road. Azerbaijan chooses to continue playing its role as a crossroad through its ambitious plans to become a pillar of European’s energy security and a key transport and trade hub of the “one belt one road” project.

On the international front Azerbaijan has close cooperation with all leading international organizations such as NATO, the EU, SCO, LAS, the AU and OAS. It has twice presided over the UN Security Council, in 2017-2019 Azerbaijan was chair of ECOSOC and from 2019 Azerbaijan will lead the Non Aligned Movement.  .


Remarks by Charge d’Affaires Azad Naghiyev

30 May 2019

Thank you for being with us today and for joining in on the pleasure of celebrating the Republic of Azerbaijan’s national holiday – the Republic Day. I consider your participation as a sign of respect and support for Azerbaijan and its people.

Personally, I find this year to be specifically remarkable as it marks the 100th anniversary of the Diplomatic Service of Azerbaijan, which I have had the pleasure of serving for more than 2 decades. To think that one century separates us from a time when the Government of Azerbaijan was taking its first steps in international affairs through its adoption of the decree on the establishment of the diplomatic service of Azerbaijan on 9 June, 1919.  Although, that signifies the official starting point of our diplomatic service activities, Azerbaijan’s history of diplomacy goes back to medieval times. Many diplomatic correspondence and diplomatic missions’ reports of 14–15 centuries can be found in the archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan. These reports have shown the extensive diplomatic relations between medieval Azerbaijani states with those of Europe, Middle East, Russia and Asia which you can learn more about in our special issue dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Diplomatic Service.

However, other than Azerbaijan’s deep history in diplomacy, the country has been a favorable geographical location at the crossroads of the trade routes connecting the North with the South and the East with the West. Azerbaijan for many centuries has been one of the most important trade centers of the ancient Silk Road. Azerbaijan chooses to continue playing its role as a crossroad through its ambitious plans to become a pillar of European’s energy security and a key transport and trade hub of the “one belt one road” project.

Azerbaijan has already set the firm foundation to realize its plans as we can see with the Trans-Caspian East-West Corridor constituted from: Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, along with the creation and operation of the biggest regional Baku Air-hub and Alat Sea-port. The next phase of this transport infrastructure project the North-South Corridor, connecting South Asia with Northern Europe is going to be commissioned by the end of this year. Additionally, we are confident that significant change will soon be brought to the European energy market through the successful implementation of mega export oil and gas pipeline projects such as the “Baku-Jeyhan”, “Baku-Supsa”, “Baku-Erzurum” and the “Southern Gas Corridor”.

It is safe to say that Azerbaijan is an example of Napoleon’s statement that "Geography is destiny’’. Azerbaijani soil developed the country’s unique culture as a paradoxical mixture of East and West – Europe and Asia. During all of its history, Azerbaijan formed the contention between great powers and civilizations, which taught Azerbaijanis the fundamental importance of preserving their freedom, independence and cultural identity.

This cultural uniqueness and historical memory formed the peculiarities of the Diplomacy of Azerbaijan in pursuing independent policy based on national interests. One of the major tasks of Azerbaijani diplomacy is to protect its territorial integrity and ensure regional security. However, for more than 25 years, 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory has been occupied by Armenia, where ethnic cleansing and acts of genocide of the Azerbaijani people have been committed. Yet, Azerbaijani diplomacy is making every effort to settle the conflict peacefully on the basis of international law and the fundamental principles of the UN Charter.

Essentially, Azerbaijan is pursuing a multi-vector foreign policy aiming to achieve an equal and mutually beneficial partnership in both bilateral and multilateral formats. This is evident in our active diplomatic work to turn the Caspian basin and the South Caucasus regions into a zone of peace, good neighborhood and regional cooperation. The growing potential and international authority of Azerbaijan allows close cooperation with all leading international organizations such as NATO, the EU, SCO, LAS, the AU and OAS.

Azerbaijan is thus making efforts to contribute to the development of global international politics. To name a few: we have twice presided over the UN Security Council, in 2017-2019 Azerbaijan was chair of ECOSOC and from 2019 Azerbaijan will lead the Non Aligned Movement.  Additionally, every year a global forum called “Baku process” which is a platform to promote values of the humanism, the dialogue of cultures, religions and civilizations is held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.

Thus, Azerbaijan attaches a particular importance to diplomatic cooperation with South Africa. As seen through Azerbaijan and South Africa’s successful cooperation  as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, and continued cooperation in number of the UN structures, the Non-Aligned Movement and other international organizations.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the people of South Africa for successful holding their elections and appointing the new president. I am confident that the new leadership of South Africa will make every effort to improve the national economy and will lead the country to a new era of well-being and prosperity.

Being a partner of South Africa, Azerbaijan is ready to provide full support to the country in terms of achieving the goals set by President Ramaphosa and to develop comprehensive collaborations in all fields of cooperation.

I do hope that South Africa will open its diplomatic representation in Azerbaijan soon and thereby give a new impetus and acceleration to the development of our friendly relations.

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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October/November 2019

 
 
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