COMMEMORATING REPUBLIC DAY IN AZERBAIJAN; Congressional Record Vol. 160, No. 82
(Extensions of Remarks - May 29, 2014)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E858]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                COMMEMORATING REPUBLIC DAY IN AZERBAIJAN

                                 ______
                                 

                          HON. JIM BRIDENSTINE

                              of oklahoma

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 29, 2014

  Mr. BRIDENSTINE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the 96th 
anniversary of Republic Day in Azerbaijan. Yesterday, in 1918, 
Azerbaijan received its independence from the Russian Empire and 
officially declared the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR).
   At the time of its independence, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic 
was the first-ever modern parliamentary republic in the Muslim world 
and was an early adopter of full political rights for women. The 
Azerbaijan parliament granted women the right to vote shortly after its 
nation's founding, preceding even the United States in granting such a 
right to men and women equally.
   Unfortunately, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic's initial 
independence was short lived, as the Soviet Union invaded the country 
in 1920. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Azerbaijan 
regained full independence and reestablished the Azerbaijan Democratic 
Republic.
   For the last 23 years, Azerbaijan has been a reliable strategic ally 
of the United States in an often-hostile region of the world. 
Azerbaijan has been a partner with the U.S. on economic, trade and 
military issues, even supporting U.S. and NATO operations in Iraq and 
Afghanistan.
   In my state of Oklahoma, our National Guard has established a 
strategic relationship with Azerbaijan through the National Guard State 
Partnership Program (SPP). This program connects state and territorial 
National Guards to military and civilian personnel in 70 partner 
nations and I am proud of the relationship between the Oklahoma 
National Guard and our friend, Azerbaijan.
   I congratulate the people of Azerbaijan on this important 
anniversary and thank them for their continued support and partnership.

                          ____________________