[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E495-E496]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                           HON. STEVE CHABOT

                                of ohio

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 28, 2020

  Mr. CHABOT. Madam Speaker, as Co-Chair of the Congressional 
Azerbaijan Caucus, I rise today to recognize Azerbaijan on the occasion 
of its 102nd Republic Day. Azerbaijan is a critical partner of the 
United States in the region and maintains a proud heritage as an 
independent country.
  Upon declaring independence in 1918, Azerbaijan earned the unique 
distinction of

[[Page E496]]

being the first secular parliamentary democracy in the Muslim world. 
Azerbaijan was also among the first states to grant women the right to 
vote. 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, which, not unlike Russia under Vladimir Putin, 
sought to spread values much different to those espoused by the 
fledgling Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. 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. 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. It is also noteworthy that as a Muslim 
country, Azerbaijan enjoys strong relations with the Jewish community 
and maintains a strong friendship with our ally Israel. Finally, 
Azerbaijan is a critical energy provider for Europe, playing an 
important role helping our allies there diversify their energy supply 
away from a domineering Russia.
  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.