U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, U.S. Presidential Advisor, White House official Fiona Hill, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department's Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Bridget A. Brink, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Gulf Affairs in the Near East Bureau at the Department of State Tim Lenderking, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department's Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Daniel Rosenblum, U.S. Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Andrew Schofer, Vice Chief of the U.S. National Guard Bureau, Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, and congressmen Bill Shuster, Henry Cuellar, Mark Meadows and Secretary of the District of Columbia Lauren C. Vaughan attended the event, the Azerbaijani Embassy in the U.S. told reporters.
The event brought together about 1,000 guests, including representatives of the U.S. government agencies, the White House, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, congressmen, representatives of several U.S. states, ambassador, military attachés and diplomatic corps of some foreign countries, members of think tanks, as well as representatives of the Azerbaijani, Turkish and Jewish communities.
At the beginning of the event, the U.S. Air Force Band performed the national anthems of Azerbaijan and the United States.
Addressing the opening of the reception, Azerbaijani Ambassador to the U.S. Elin Suleymanov said that the event was dedicated to the centenary of ADR and the anniversary of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces.
He recalled that the first democratic parliamentary republic in the Muslim East was founded in Azerbaijan a hundred years ago, where the tradition of tolerance developed, rights of all citizens were ensured irrespective of their religion, ethnic origin and gender.
The envoy noted that ADR granted women the right to vote before many leading Western countries.
A hundred years later Azerbaijan again takes the leading position in the world, said Suleymanov, hailing the implementation of the Azerbaijan-initiated regional projects, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, the Southern Gas Corridor, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars, the Baku International Trade Port, the Baku International Terminal.
He emphasized that Azerbaijan has also entered a number of states that have the opportunity to launch their satellites into space.
The ambassador also touched upon the partnership between Azerbaijan and the United States.
He praised the Azerbaijan-U.S. cooperation that is based on mutual respect and interests and covers many areas, including energy security, counterterrorism, defense and security.
Suleymanov also expressed gratitude to the U.S. for support to large-scale energy projects.
The diplomat expressed hope that Azerbaijan’s occupied territories will soon be liberated, displaced people will return to their native lands and peace will be established between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Suleymanov stressed that participation in the reception of numerous guests, including representatives of the US administration, is an indicator of the importance of Azerbaijan.
Senior officials of the US administration, generals, as well as congressmen expressed their views on Azerbaijan-U.S. partnership.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke delivered his sincere congratulations on the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
Calling Azerbaijan an ally, friend of the U.S., Zinke said that Azerbaijan is of great importance for both the region and the world.
Special Assistant to the U.S. President Fiona Hill read out a message sent from President Donald Trump to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the centenary of ADR.
She said U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Bridget Brink was very pleased with her recent visit to Azerbaijan and said Azerbaijan was pursuing an independent policy in the complex region. The US official pointed out that the U.S. supports the successful completion and expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor, drawing attention to the fact that this project will integrate the Caspian region into the world economy.
Later, the Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Daniel Hokanson, commented on the history of the Pentagon's cooperation with Azerbaijan and emphasized that Washington attaches great importance to partnership with Baku.
Chairman of the Working Group for Azerbaijan at the Congress Bill Shuster and Congressman Henry Cueller congratulated Azerbaijan on the occasion of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic’s centenary, pointing out that Baku is an important partner for the United States. They also stressed the importance of the Southern Gas Corridor.
Lauren Vaughan, Secretary of the District of Columbia, read out the resolution issued by Mayor Muriel Bowser, on proclamation of May 28th as the National Day of Azerbaijan in the U.S. capital.
Then, Brigadier General Louis Wilham representing the Oklahoma National Guard read out the statement by Governor Mary Fallin on declaring May 28 as the National Day of Azerbaijan in Oklahoma.
During the event, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation screened a film dedicated to the 100th anniversary of ADR, samples of Azerbaijani music and dances were performed by Silk Road Dance Company and Rhythm Dance Group.
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