H.E Ali Alizada, ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan has hosted a conference to mark the 25th anniversary of the restoration of Azerbaijan’s state independence in Islamabad where the chief guest was Federal Commerce Minister, Engineer Khurram Dastagir Khan.
A large number of people attended the conference including representatives from the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, business community, diplomats, media and civil society.
Before the formal address of H.E Ali Alizada, ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the occasion, a detailed presentation depicting various sectors of Azerbaijan’s politics, economy, tourism, and Nagorno Karabakh conflict was presented by H.E Col Mehman Novruzov, Defence Attaché of Azerbaijan to Pakistan.
He highlighted that the Republic of Azerbaijan is situated at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia.Azerbaijan Democratic Republic declared its independence in 1918 and has the distinction as the first Muslim-majority democratic and secular republic.In 1991, Azerbaijan regained its independence from the Soviet Union, and has emerged as modern, independent and secular state with a vibrant and diverse culture, he said.
Azerbaijan has deep historical footprints of earliest humankind, indigenous ancient culture, civilization progress. Azerbaijan has an establishment of ancient statehood system which dates back to 3000 BC.
Under the leadership of President H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan is pursing balanced and independent policy, expanding its relations with both Eastern and Western countries.
Today, independent Azerbaijan is an active member of UN, Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, Council of Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States, Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Black Sea Economic Collaboration, Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and actively cooperates with the European Union, NATO, IMF, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Islamic Development Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and many other organizations.
Azerbaijan’s position is that Azerbaijan is ready to guarantee security of Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh by providing the highest level of autonomy within Azerbaijan and with the precondition that the invading forces have to leave Azerbaijan lands, over 750 thousand Azerbaijani IDPs who return to their native lands. Despite good will of Azerbaijan, Armenia does not want peace and tries to maintain the status-quo.
Azerbaijan attached great importance to diversity the energy lines providing the export of Azerbaijan’s energy products. Therefore, in 1999, Presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey signed intergovernmental agreement with participation of US President on Construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export oil pipeline, carrying oil from Baku (Azerbaijan) to Ceyhan (Turkey).
Today, Azerbaijan is a favorite destination for over 2.5 million tourists visiting the country every year. Recently, many tourist infrastructures, hotels, winter resorts such as “Shahdag” and “Tufandag” were built which are at the highest standards, he said.
Speaking at the occasion, H.E Ali Alizada, ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan said that Pakistan and Azerbaijan have deep rooted and decades old relationship. Pakistan was among the first three countries that recognizes Azerbaijan after its Independence and established relations, he added.We respect the people of Pakistan and the bilateral relations between the two countries would improve in the future.
Dr. Abdul Basit, Chancellor Preston University also spoke at the occasion and said there is need to strengthen more educational and bilateral ties between the two countries. He also congratulated H.E Ali Alizada, ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan for celebrating the day. He also assured his full cooperation and support to bring both countries together.
In his address, Federal Commerce Minister Engineer Khurram Dastagir Khan has said that Pakistan highly valued its relations with Azerbaijan and was desirous of further strengthening them in various fields. He said that, next year, President of Azerbaijan will visit Pakistan and sign agreements to promote cooperation in different fields. He said that Pakistan was working closely with Azerbaijan on different international forums including United Nations, adding that Pakistan highly regarded the role of Azerbaijan in Contact Group on Kashmir. He said both countries should further strengthen relations with other countries in different fields including commerce. He said both countries could cooperate with each other in different projects including energy sector. He said the government would encourage trade relations between the two countries and expand relations with the countries in the region.He also appreciated help of Azerbaijan in tragedy of earthquake of 2005 and floods.