(Extensions of Remarks - May 23, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E727-E728]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                           HON. BILL SHUSTER

                            of pennsylvania

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, May 22, 2013

  Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in honoring 
the Republic of Azerbaijan in celebration of the 95th anniversary of 
Republic Day on May 28th.
  Azerbaijan and the United States have developed a robust and growing 
relationship over the last two decades. I am extremely proud that we 
have established what Secretary Clinton has called ``deep, important, 
and durable bonds between the United States and Azerbaijan.''
  Although located in a geopolitically tough location between Russia 
and Iran, Azerbaijan has consistently looked to the United States as an 
ally despite these difficult neighbors. A secular country with a 
predominantly Muslim population, Azerbaijan has also been home to 
vibrant Christian and Jewish communities representing a role model for 
peaceful coexistence and harmony of different religions and ethnic 
  Azerbaijan was also the first country to open Caspian energy 
resources to development by U.S. and European companies and has emerged 
as a key player for global energy security. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan 
pipeline project, supported by successive U.S. Administrations, is the 
most successful project contributing to the development of the South 
Caucuses region. Realization of the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) 
Project between

[[Page E728]]

Azerbaijan and Turkey will immensely contribute to energy security in 
Europe by exporting Azerbaijani natural gas to the European markets.
  On a security front, Azerbaijan has been a key ally in a post 9 /11 
era, emerging as one of the first countries to offer strong support and 
assistance to the United States. Actively participating in joint 
operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Azerbaijan has also extended 
important overflight clearances for U.S. and NATO flights and provided 
key supply routes to Afghanistan by making available its ground and 
Caspian naval transportation facilities. The transit route through 
Azerbaijan accounts for roughly 40 percent of the Coalition supplies 
bound for Afghanistan.
  As the Co-Chairman of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus, it is my 
distinct pleasure to honor the Republic of Azerbaijan in celebration of 
the 95th anniversary of Republic Day and to recognize the valuable 
bilateral relationship between the United States and Azerbaijan. I also 
encourage my colleagues who are interested in supporting Azerbaijan to 
join me as a member of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus, a 
bipartisan group of more than 40 Members of Congress working to help 
foster the growing partnership between the United States and Azerbaijan 
and to advance U.S. interests in this pivotal region.