RECOGNIZING THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE REPUBLIC DAY OF AZERBAIJAN; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 92
(Extensions of Remarks - June 05, 2018)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E762]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




  RECOGNIZING THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE REPUBLIC DAY OF AZERBAIJAN

                                 ______
                                 

                            HON. STEVE COHEN

                              of tennessee

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, June 5, 2018

  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 100th 
anniversary of the Republic Day of Azerbaijan, and to extend my best 
wishes to all Azerbaijanis. May 28th marks the founding of the 
Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, when the people of Azerbaijan first 
gained their independence from the Russian Empire in 1918. Although 
Azerbaijan's independence was ended by Soviet forces in 1920, it is 
noteworthy that the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan was the world's 
first secular parliamentary democratic republic in a predominantly 
Muslim nation--earning diplomatic recognition from the United States 
during the administration of President Woodrow Wilson. We also recall 
that the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan granted universal suffrage 
to its citizens in 1918, making it the first Muslim country to give 
women the right to vote.
   Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan restored its 
independence on October 18, 1991, when its Parliament adopted the 
Constitution Act on the Restoration of the State of Independence of the 
Republic of Azerbaijan.
   Azerbaijan has emerged as a key player for enhancing global energy 
security. The completion of the Southern Gas Corridor--which will run 
from the Caspian Sea through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, and 
Albania into Italy--will increase the energy security of key American 
allies by increasing the amount of natural gas from the Caspian Sea to 
European markets.
   Azerbaijan also provides roughly 40 percent of Israel's oil 
consumption and enjoys friendly ties with Israel beyond oil sales. Jews 
have resided in Azerbaijan for 2,500 years without persecution and 
today, the Jewish community in Azerbaijan numbers over 12,000. 
Azerbaijan is also home to Christian communities and has been praised 
for its religious tolerance by the European Parliament.
   Azerbaijan is a key global security partner for the United States. 
As an active member of NATO's Partnership for Peace program, Azerbaijan 
cooperates with the United States in countering terrorism, nuclear 
proliferation, and narcotics trafficking. Azerbaijani troops serve 
shoulder to shoulder with U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, as they 
previously did in Kosovo and Iraq. In support of the International 
Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan has extended 
important over-flight clearances for U.S. and NATO flights as well as 
regularly providing landing and refueling operations at its airports 
for U.S. and NATO forces.
   As co-chair of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus, I congratulate 
the people of Azerbaijan on the centennial of their Republic Day. May 
the partnership between the United States and Azerbaijan progress and 
continue to benefit both of our nations.

                          ____________________