On Oct. 18, Azerbaijani-Americans will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s independence. On that day in 1991, Parliament of Azerbaijan adopted the Constitutional Act restoring the nation’s independence after over 70 years of Soviet rule.
The United States and Azerbaijan have established diplomatic relations in 1992, although the first encounter of Azerbaijani and U.S. officials took place nearly a century ago. In 1919, the Azerbaijani delegation to Paris Peace Conference met with President Woodrow Wilson who remarked that Azerbaijani officials “talked the same language that he did in respect of ideas, in respect of conceptions of liberty, right and justice”.
Azerbaijan’s path toward independence has not been easy. The bloody Soviet crackdown against the independence movement in January 1990 coincided with the armed aggression by the neighboring Armenia which left the fifth of Azerbaijan occupied and over 1 million expelled from their homes till now. Despite these challenges, Azerbaijan has been a steadfast U.S. partner on the issues of regional energy security and global fight against terror.
On the eve of Azerbaijan’s Independence Day, I join members of Azerbaijani Society of America to request formal recognitions of this holiday by our elected officials.