Co-chairs of the U.S. Congress Working Group on Azerbaijan Steve Cohen and Bill Shuster made statements on the 100th jubilee of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
Congressman Steve Cohen congratulated Azerbaijan on the occasion of the 100th anniversary and stated that May 28 is the day of Azerbaijan's independence from the Russian Empire in 1918 and the day of the foundation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. The statement notes that the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic provided universal suffrage to its citizens in 1918 and thus became the first Muslim state to give women the right to vote. The statement then stated that, when the Soviet Union collapsed, Azerbaijan restored its independence on October 18, 1991 by the Parliamentary Constitutional Act on State Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The statement also notes Azerbaijan’s significance in terms of Southern Gas Corridor diversification supplies, which will transport Azerbaijani gas to Europe.
According to the statement, Israel and Azerbaijan enjoy an excellent relationship and warm friendship. Having lived in Azerbaijan for 2,500 years without persecution, the country’s Jewish community enjoys full dignity, respect and religious freedom. The statement also says that Azerbaijan is also a home to Christian community and has been praised by the European Parliament for religious tolerance.
Steve Cohen said that Azerbaijan is the main global security partner of the United States. As an active member of NATO's Partnership for Peace program, Azerbaijan cooperates with the United States in the fight against terrorism, non-proliferation and drug trafficking. The Azerbaijani forces, as before in Kosovo and Iraq, are currently serving shoulder to shoulder with U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Other co-chair of the U.S. Congress Working Group on Azerbaijan, Bill Shuster also made a statement at the same day and congratulated the Republic of Azerbaijan on the 100th anniversary of its independence. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of Azerbaijan, so far one member of the Senate and seven members of the House of Representatives have made relevant statements in the U.S. Congress.