Charge d’Affaires (CDA) of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Republic of Korea Mr. and Mrs. Ramzi Teymurov hosted a reception at the Millennium Seoul Hilton on May 27, 2014 to celebrate the Republic Day of their country.
Many distinguished guests attended the reception from all walks of life in Korean society as well as from the Diplomatic Corps in Korea*.
The mission chiefs and other senior diplomats included Ambassadors Natallia Jhylevich of Belarus, Dato Haji Harun Ismail of Brunei Darussalam, Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla of Holy See, Duishonkul Chotonov of Kyrgyzstan, Dato Rohana binti Ramli of Malaysia, Kaman Singh Lama of Nepal, Ceferino Adrian Valdez Peralta of Paraguay, Krzysztof Majka of Poland, Konstantine V. Vnukov of Russia, Luis Arias Romero of Spain, Hemani Filomena Coelho Da Silva of Timor Leste, Hakan Okcal of Turkey, Vasyl Marmazov of Ukraine and Alisher Kurmanov of Uzbekistan.
There are many things in Azerbaijan that attract the attention of the Korean people but also all the other peoples around the world.
Offhand, Azerbaijan was the first secular Muslim country built on the principles of western democracy in 1918 allowing women to vote for the first time in the West.
Azerbaijan, according to CDA Teymurov, weathered all types of difficulties, like Korea during the Japanese colonial rule, and had many challenges, including the invasion by Armenia.
CDA Teymurov then introduced his country’s hosting of the “First-ever European Olympic Games” next year, and asked Korea to take part in various fields related with the event and economic development of the country. Excerpts from the speech of CDA Teymurov follow:
First, I would like to thank all of you for having a time and joining us to celebrate 96th anniversary of Independence Day of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
As many of you know Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) gained its first independence on May 28, 1918 that existed only two years. Although the independence of Azerbaijan was for very short period, I am proud to say that Azerbaijan was the first secular Muslim country built on principles of western style democracy; Azerbaijani women were allowed to vote, when women in the prominent democracies in the West were still banded from participating in elections and the first opera in the East was staged in Azerbaijan.
While first Democratic Republic was ceased to exist in 1920 by invasion of Red Army, the ideas that gave birth to it, lived on to create modern Azerbaijan 70 years later.
The birth of second independent Azerbaijani Republic, following with the collapse of the Soviet Union, also became the subject of tragedies and challenges.
During the early years of its independence Azerbaijan faced with aggression of neighboring Armenia that resulted with the occupation of 20 percent of its internationally recognized territories and led 1 million people to become refugees and IDPs.
The resolutions and decisions of international organizations such as UNSC, OSCE, European Parliament, Council of Europe that demanded immediate withdrawal of the Armenian troops from the occupied territories, remained unfulfilled.
Although the challenges that young democracy were faced during its declaration of independence, under the leadership of Heydar Aliyev, National Leader of Azerbaijani people, Azerbaijan managed to achieve unimaginable success in the economic sphere.
Today Azerbaijan is well known to international community as a country who plays significant and strategic role on energy, logistic and telecommunication projects such as Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipelines, Trans-Adriatic and Trans-Anatolia gas Pipeline projects, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project and Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway project.
In 2011 Azerbaijan was elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council with the support of 155 countries, was invited to participate at the respectful international events such as G-20 and Nuclear Security Summits.
In the meantime, Azerbaijan regularly hosted various international events such as annual “World Forum for Intercultural Dialogue” and “Baku International Humanitarian Forum”. Baku was named “Islamic Culture Capital” in 2009 and last but not least Azerbaijan will host “First-ever European Olympic Games” next year.
Definitely, those achievements wouldn’t be realized without the support of partner and friendly countries. Therefore, Azerbaijan highly values its friendly relations with the Republic of Korea and look forward to broadening areas of cooperation that addresses the mutual interests of both countries and their people.
The Azerbaijani government considers Korea one of the major partners in the world with which it carries on political, economic and trade cooperation.
There is huge potential to intensify bilateral cooperation in the economic sphere through activities in the fields of telecommunication and high technologies, engineering, energy, light industry, agricultural, construction and reconstruction of tourism destinations in Azerbaijan, and through the active participation and investments of Korean companies in the newly-created industrial parks.