Consul General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev’s article on the 100th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Azerbaijan was published by the prominent Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles.
Consul General notes in the article that 100 years ago, on April 28, 1920, Soviet troops invaded Azerbaijan and put an end to its independence. He mentions: “The establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic two years earlier, on May 28, 1918, had been an event of historic magnitude. Not only was it the first secular and parliamentary republic in the Muslim world, but also the first majority-Muslim nation granting women the right to vote and to run for election, with a law passed in July 1919.”
Consul General Aghayev also stresses that the representatives of various religious and ethnic minorities, such as Jews, Armenians, Russians, Germans, Poles, and others were also represented in the Parliament and the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan.
The Consul General further underlines that the new republic pursued an active and independent foreign policy and managed to send a diplomatic mission to the Paris Peace Conference, led by Alimardan Bey Topchubashov, Speaker of the Parliament. He states that while in Paris this delegation met with the U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. It was the first high-level diplomatic meeting between Azerbaijan and the U.S. Consul General Aghayev mentiones that a few months later, in his public speeches in Bismarck, North Dakota and San Francisco, California, President Wilson referred to this historic meeting, showing the deep impression the Azerbaijani diplomats and their nation left on him.
Referring to the former Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal reporter Hugh Pope’s book, Consul General emphasizes that people of Azerbaijan did not surrender their brief independence quickly or easily. As many as 20,000 died resisting the invasion.
Moreover he states: “One hundred years later, Azerbaijan, which restored its independence from USSR in 1991, is today the largest economy in the region, implementing major transnational energy and transportation projects, like the newly launched railroad connecting Asia with Europe or vastly contributing to the energy security of European nations.”
Consul General Aghayev also talks about Azerbaijan’s interfaith tolerance and multiculturalism and mentions that Shias and Sunnis, as well as Christians, Jews and the representatives of other faiths continue to live in Azerbaijan in harmony and mutual respect.
Full text of the article is available here