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Azerbaijan marks 30th anniversary of restoration of independence

18 October 2021 12:34 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan marks 30th anniversary of restoration of independence

By Vafa Ismayilova

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has said that "it is far more difficult to preserve independence than to gain it".

He made the remarks in an address to the nation on the 30th anniversary of the restoration of the country's independence on October 18.

Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov earlier congratulated Azerbaijanis on the Restoration of Independence Day.

“30 years ago, on October 18, Azerbaijan restored its independence. I cordially congratulate all compatriots on the Day of Restoration of Independence, which fell on the anniversary of the 44-day victory chronicle. Long live independent Azerbaijan!” Bayramov said on his Twitter account on October 18.

On October 15, 2021, the Azerbaijani parliament adopted a bill renaming the Republic Day of Azerbaijan, which was celebrated on May 28 as Independence Day and October 18 as the Restoration of Independence Day. The bill was approved by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

Azerbaijan has a centuries-long history of statehood and established the first ever-democratic Republic in the East in 1918. Azerbaijan lost its state independence in 1920 only to restore it in 1991 in the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Challenges during years of independence

The people of Azerbaijan benefiting from the opportunity to foster greater democratic values have chosen the path of building a modern democratic state based on its national statehood traditions, historical and cultural heritage. In the early years of its independence, the young Republic faced the military aggression of Armenia, internal instability, hardships of a transition period and other serious challenges.

However, under national leader Heydar Aliyev's leadership, Azerbaijan overcame all the difficulties and, having succeeded in identifying and following a consistent approach to strategic development, is now transforming into an economically and politically dynamic modern state and consolidating its global and regional position.

Milestone success during independence

Thirty years is not a relatively long history, but Azerbaijan has proved to the world that we are the nation dedicated ourselves to living independently and successfully. Despite the challenges and victims, we gained our independence at the beginning of the 20th century and regained it at the end of the same century. Azerbaijan recognizes the value of living in an independent and sovereign country and continues to follow this path.

With its glorious victory in the 44-day war with Armenia in 2020, under President Ilham Aliyev's leadership, the country has set as the ultimate goal of its overall strategy to ensure the prosperity, sustainable development, and well-being of Azerbaijan and to contribute to maintaining security and stability in the whole region.

The victory which was gained under Commander-in-Cheif Aliyev in last year's war can be considered the milestone of these successes.

On September 27, 2020, Azerbaijani villages and military positions came under Armenia's artillery fire, causing casualties among civilians and servicemen, making the Azerbaijani army respond to those provocations militarily. As a result, Aliyev ordered the army to end the longstanding occupation and liberate the occupied territories.

Azerbaijani soldiers and officers completed their glorious mission with great heroism and courage and liberated Jabrayil, Fuzuli, Zangilan, Gubadli regions, Sugovushan settlement, Hadrut settlement, a part of Khojaly region, Kalbajar region, the Murovdagh range, the southern part of Lachin region, strategic heights from the enemy on the battlefield.

The glorious war ended in Shusha with the liberation of Shusha on November 8, which is the country's historic achievement.

On November 10, Armenia was forced to sign an act of capitulation.

According to this act of surrender, Kalbajar, Lachin, and Aghdam regions were returned to Azerbaijan without a single shot being fired, and the Azerbaijani flag was raised there. This shows that Azerbaijan has won the war both on the battlefield and in the political arena.

This is Azerbaijan's historic victory and the nation has been waiting for this day for about 30 years. Finally, today, we are celebrating the restoration of the independence of Azerbaijan as a heroic nation.

Defeated on the battlefield, the enemy committed war crimes against the civilian population and fired at our cities with ballistic missiles, phosphorus bombs, and cluster munitions. As a result of this cowardly shelling, about 100 civilians, including children and women, have been killed. In addition, more than 400 civilians have been injured, more than 5,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged. However, Azerbaijani citizens did not take a single step back from their land. The people of Azerbaijan have shown their greatness, their high morale spirit. The very cause of this victory was the Azerbaijani people. The nation fulfilled its historic mission by showing unity, resolve, determination, and national spirit.

A new era is beginning for Azerbaijan us now – a period of creation. All buildings, all historical sites, mosques, graves, cemeteries destroyed by Armenian vandals will be restored and Karabakh and East Zangazur regions will turn into one of the most attractive places to live and visit. Restoration work has already started, and in a short time, The Fuzuli International Airport became operational, and over 100-km Victory Road that connects Fuzuli and Shusha cities was inaugurated.

Azerbaijan made great strides in all areas during independence, expanding our bilateral relations and managing to be more visible in the international arena via our active participation in the multilateral formats.

Azerbaijan is becoming important and in many cases a decisive country to cooperate with in the South Caucasus and the Caspian region, and plays an indispensable role in the realization of the regional energy and transportation projects.


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