Azerbaijan’s Embassy in the UK and the Office of Military Attaché have organized an official reception marking the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces.
The event was attended by British government and state officials, representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in London, as well as representatives of the British public, an APA correspondent reported from London.
First, the national anthems of Azerbaijan and the UK were played.
Addressing the event, Azerbaijani Ambassador to the UK Tahir Taghizade emphasized the special role of the Armed Forces within the sovereign state of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan’s Military Attaché in the UK Vugar Ahmadov said that the first democratic republic in the Muslim East was established in Azerbaijan on May 28, 1918 and that the armed forces were formed one month later - on June 26.
"It lasted only two years and Azerbaijan was occupied in 1920. After the restoration of Azerbaijan's independence in 1991, the armed forces were re-established,” he said.
Ahmadov said Azerbaijan seeks peace and tranquility in the region.
"But we also want to liberate our occupied lands and restore our territorial integrity. Our demands are based on history, international law and justice. In this modern age, occupation is unacceptable. I hope peace and security will soon prevail in the region," he noted.
The military attaché added that Azerbaijan is a key partner of NATO in the region, saying this can be seen not only from Azerbaijan’s statements, but also from its actions.
"We are supporting the peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan, just like in Iraq and Kosovo,” he stressed.
Early Howe, the UK Minister of State for Defense and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, said that one of every seven Azerbaijanis that fought in World War II was a woman. He said it is no secret that in the entire Muslim world, women’s suffrage was first granted in Azerbaijan. Howe said that Azerbaijan has been a close friend and partner of Great Britain for a long time. He added that Azerbaijan’s stable stance is a factor in maintaining stability in the Caucasus.
Howe stressed that Azerbaijan is one of the major business partners of the UK and that currently 450 British companies are operating in Azerbaijan. He reminded that in February 2018, the two countries signed a "Military Cooperation Plan for the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year."