An event dedicated to Azerbaijan’s Republic Day was held on May 28, 2019 at the historic Colton Hall in Monterey, California. Built in the early 19th century, the building hosted California's first constitutional convention in 1849.
Monterey and Azerbaijani City of Lankaran have enjoyed a sister-city relationship since 2011.
Jointly organized by the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles, City of Monterey and the Monterey-Lankaran Friendship Association (MLFA), the event was attended by the city council members of Monterey and Salinas, a Member of Azerbaijan’s Parliament Hadi Rajabli, First Deputy Mayor of the City of Lankaran Mohubbat Babayev, members of Azerbaijani community, representatives of culture, science, education and media.
The event opened with the performance of national anthems of Azerbaijan and the U.S.
Speaking at the event, moderated by the President of MLFA Nancy Selfridge, Mayor of Monterey Clyde Roberson expressed their satisfaction to host such celebration. Highlighting Monterey-Lankaran sister-city relationship, Roberson stressed the significance of further developing mutually beneficial partnerships between the two cities and expanding the outreach to their communities. Then he presented a proclamation on Azerbaijan’s Republic Day, proclaiming May 28 as Azerbaijan National Day in Monterey.
Relevant certificates of congratulations signed by California State Senator Bill Monning and the City of Salinas on this celebration were also presented.
Speaking afterwards, MP Hadi Rajabli informed the audience about Azerbaijan’s history of independence, and stated that 101 years ago, on May 28, 1918, the people of Azerbaijan established the very first Republic in their history - the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. He further noted that it was also the first ever secular democracy among all Muslim nations and the first majority-Muslim nation to grant women the right to vote. Hadi Rajabli also highlighted Azerbaijan’s political and economic development, as well as its place in the world.
In his remarks, First Deputy Mayor of Lankaran Mohubbat Babayev talked about the history of the relationship between the cities of Lankaran and Monterey. He further mentioned that mutual visits contributed significantly to the development of this relationship.
Consul of the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles Rashad Eyvazov spoke about Azerbaijan’s ancient history, rich culture, as well as Azerbaijan-U.S. friendship.
The event also featured a phenomenal performance of Azerbaijani songs by local Azerbaijani community member Eldar Khudiyev.
In honor of Azerbaijan’s Republic Day celebration, a central street (Alvarado Str.) of Monterey was decorated with Azerbaijan flags.
It should be noted that during their visit the Azerbaijani delegation also held meetings with Congressman Jimmy Panetta, Mayor of Monterey Clyde Roberson, City Councilmember Alan Haffa and Monterey City Manager Hans Usler as well as visited various institutions to discuss the further strengthening of the partnership between the two cities.