US Congressmen make statement on occasion of Republic Day of Azerbaijan

The members of the Working Group on Azerbaijan, member of the House Appropriations Committee of the Congress and the Helsinki Commission, Congressman Robert Aderholt and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Congress Steve Chabot made statements in the US Congress and expressed congratulations on the occasion of the Republic of Day of Azerbaijan, Trend reports referring to the embassy of Azerbaijan in the US.
 
“I am honored to recognize the Republic Day of Azerbaijan,” Robert Aderholt, one of the House Co-chairs of the Azerbaijan Caucus, Congressman from Alabama,” said.
 
“On May 28, 1918, Azerbaijan became the first secular democratic state in the Muslim East,” Aderholt said. “Though it was absorbed into the Soviet Union in 1920, Azerbaijan again declared its independence seven decades later in 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union.”
“Azerbaijan's Republic Day serves as a time to highlight and reflect on some of the country's best qualities, including its strong relationship with Israel, its focus on energy security, and its key role in regional stability,” the congressman said.
 
“Additionally, Azerbaijan is committed to protecting global energy security, especially through its efforts regarding the Southern Gas Corridor, which will decrease the Caspian region's dependence on Russian oil,” Aderholt said.
 
“A stalwart U.S. ally, Azerbaijan has aided U.S. and NATO forces by providing critical refueling stations, and Azerbaijan's troops have fought side-by-side with U.S. troops in Afghanistan,” the Congressman said. “In addition, Azerbaijan has contributed to the security of Kosovo and Iraq and supports peacekeeping operations under the United Nations and NATO. Azerbaijan is also committed to global nonproliferation efforts and participates as a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.”
 
“Azerbaijan is a significant US partner in a strategically important area of the world,” the congressman said.
Steve Chabot, Co-Chair of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus, representative in the House of Representatives (from Ohio) also expressed congratulations.
 
““Azerbaijan is a critical partner of the United States in the region and maintains a proud heritage as an independent country," Chabot said.
“Upon declaring independence in 1918, Azerbaijan earned the unique distinction of being the first secular parliamentary democracy in the Muslim world,” Chabot added.
 
“Azerbaijan was also among the first states to grant women the right to vote,” the congressman said. “This stands as a testament to the Islamic world of the universal validity of democratic aspirations, and that self-government and the respect for individual rights is not inimical to their traditions.”
 
“Unfortunately, Azerbaijani independence was soon snuffed out by totalitarian USSR,” Chabot said. “After the fall of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan regained its independence and was recognized by the United States.”
 
“Today, Azerbaijan remains a close partner to the United States and our allies,” the Congressman said. “Not only has Azerbaijan been an integral part of our efforts in Afghanistan, but it has also been an excellent partner in the wider war on terror. Finally, Azerbaijan is a critical energy provider for Europe.”
 
“A Muslim-majority country, Azerbaijan also hosts a thriving, secure Jewish community, and the Azerbaijan-Israel bilateral relationship is strong,” Chabot said. “I urge my colleagues to join me to commending the people of Azerbaijan on their Republic Day. With this partnership and Azerbaijan's commitment to our friendship in mind, I would encourage my colleagues to join me today in honoring Azerbaijan on its Republic Day.”