ISLAMABAD, May 25 (APP): Azerbaijan-Pakistan relations are based
on confidence, strong, sincere mutual trust and respect between the two countries and nations, and not on material interests, Azeri Ambassador
Ali Alizada has said.
On the ocassion of the Republic Day of Azerbaijan and 25th
anniversary of Azerbaijan-Pakistan diplomatic relations, the ambassador,
in a message, said, “We share our grief together and rejoice in our
success together. These priceless relations we have to value forever.”
“This year we celebratethe 99th anniversary of foundation of The
Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan. On May 28, 1918, Azerbaijan declared
its independence establishing the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which became the first secular parliamentary democracy in the entire East and
was recognized by other democratic nations.”
The ambassador said in that difficult time of early years of
independence, Pakistan was one of the first countries which recognized independence of Azerbaijan in 1991 and in 1992 both the countries established diplomatic relations.
“And since then we enjoy cordial and warm relations. We always
support each other on all issues, as well as on Nagorno-Karabakh and
Kashmir issues based on UN Security Council resolutions. And because of
the Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani lands Pakistan has not
recognized Armenia as an independent state and have not established diplomatic relations with agressor country,” he added.
The government and people of Azerbaijan, he said, highly valued
the brotherly and fair approach. “Thanks to the efforts and positive
views of the leaders of both countries, our relations are at the
strategic partnership level.”
During the short period of independence, he said Azerbaijan granted
all its citizens the right of vote regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, and religion, becoming the first Muslim nation to give women equal
political rights with men. Though as a result of the military
intervention of the Soviet Union that violated international norms, Azerbaijan was annexed to the Union in 1920, but the Democratic
Republic of Azerbaijan entered forever into the history of the nation.
Existing for only 23 months, he said the Democratic Republic of
Azerbaijan proved that neither bloody tyranny nor the regime of
suppression could terminate the independent state system establishment
and concepts of freedom of Azerbaijani people. And Azerbaijani people
continued to struggle for their state independence during 70 years.
He said that 26 years ago, in 1991, the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan
adopted the Constitutional Act on State Independence. Thus, Azerbaijan gained independence for the second time in the 20th century and
established the state system, the political and economic structure of
the independent Republic of Azerbaijan.
The early years of independence of Azerbaijan were not so successful,
he said. There was political and economic crisis and the industry was practically paralyzed. It was a period of lost opportunities. Armenia unleashed aggression against our country and as a result of Armenia’s military aggression 20 per cent of our lands was occupied, he added.
But, Alizada maintained, after coming to power of the national leader
of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev in 1993, Azerbaijan began to develop as a
modern and secular state. Azerbaijan made great strides in all areas. Azerbaijan embarked on economic reforms and established the principles of market economy.
The political reforms carried out in Azerbaijan under his leadership
were designed for the development of democracy and protection of human rights and these same reforms are being continued by the present leader of Azerbaijan too, he added.
Counting the events that led to bettering the bilateral relations with
Pakistan he said, “Last year we had a fruitful visit of Prime Minister of Pakistan to Azerbaijan, and this year after 12 years break, President of Azerbaijan visited Pakistan.”
Moreover in 2016-17, he said, more than 10 ministers and other
officials made bilateral visits. In the upcoming months Chief of Air
Staff and Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee of Pakistan armed
forces would visit Azerbaijan.
The ambassador siad that bilateral trade turnover with Pakistan was
increased more than two times. “But we are not satisfied and very keen to boost our economic ties,” he added. The successful session of intergovernmental commission was also held last year, he saifd
adding, “We have very good cooperation in the military area, in defence industry.”
He said the two sides have discussions to cooperate in establishing
joint ventures, to realise joint defence industry production, to purchase most modern defence products from Pakistan. During the visit of President of Azerbaijan to Pakistan this year, Azerbaijan-Pakistan signed Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Energy and started energy cooperation.
He said the two countries also had good relations in
humanitarian-social field. A number of different humanitarian-social
projects were implemented by Heydar Aliyev Foundation of Azerbaijan in Pakistan. “We are very interested to further strenghten people to people contacts, as well as to enhance our cultural and tourism relations.
This year we have siplified visa prosedures for our Pakistani brothers and sisters and now every Pakistani citizen can get Azerbaijani visa online, through electronic visa system.”
He said the current year was significant for the two countries
because “we are also commemorating 25th year of our diplomatic relations.”
He congratuled the governments and peoples of both countries and
thanked the government of Pakistan for cooperation and brotherly approach which they showed during these years. The 25th anniversary was only the beginning of their modern relations, he remarked.