Independence Day was celebrated with festivities in Poland

On the occasion of the 106th anniversary of Azerbaijan's Independence Day, an official reception was held at the Warsaw National Philharmonic organized by the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Poland, in collaboration with the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Baku International Multiculturalism Center, Azerbaijan International Development Agency, and the National Commission of Azerbaijan for UNESCO.

AZERTAC reports that the event was attended by Ravan Hasanov, the Executive Director of the Baku International Multiculturalism Center, Anar Nagiyev, the Rector of Baku Slavic University, and leaders of the Christian community in Azerbaijan.

Anna Radvan-Rorenshef, Deputy Foreign Minister of Poland, Krzysztof Bosak, Vice-Marshal of the Polish Sejm, several deputy ministers, government officials, members of the Sejm and Senate, Members of the European Parliament, representatives from various state institutions, university rectors, museum directors, representatives from academic, artistic, media, and business circles, the mufti of Poland, and representatives of religious communities, heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Poland, including representatives of the Azerbaijani diaspora, Polish citizens of Azerbaijani descent, and Azerbaijani students, participated in the event.

Before official speeches, the national anthems of Azerbaijan and Poland were played.

The Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Poland, Nargiz Gurbanova, provided information about the history of Independence Day, highlighting the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic as the first secular and parliamentary republic in the Muslim and Turkic worlds. She emphasized the establishment of effective state institutions by the Republic, ensuring the rights of citizens and gaining the trust of the international community.

The ambassador noted that despite the Bolshevik invasion in 1920, which ended the independence of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the national identity and desire for statehood remained ingrained in the memory of the Azerbaijani people. Today, under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan has become a significant player in the region and on the international stage, achieving great successes. She highlighted Azerbaijan's role as a key partner in international cooperation in the Caspian Sea region, including major energy and transportation projects such as the Southern Gas Corridor and the Trans-Caspian Transportation Corridor.

Gurbanova added that Azerbaijan's hosting of COP29 demonstrates the international community's confidence in Azerbaijan's commitment to a greener world. Furthermore, she emphasized that the restoration of Azerbaijan's sovereignty over its national borders following decades of conflict in the South Caucasus has contributed to peace, security, and prosperity in the region.

The ambassador also highlighted the strategic partnership between Azerbaijan and Poland, which encompasses a wide range of areas such as political dialogue, economic cooperation, culture, education, and science, as well as mutual support in multilateral forums. She emphasized the broad spectrum of strategic partnership, which is based on shared values and mutual respect between Azerbaijan and Poland, and noted that the strategic partnership and friendship between the two nations encourage further cooperation.

In her remarks during the honorary guest section, Anna Radvan-Rorenshef, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, conveyed the greetings of Minister Radosław Sikorski. Reflecting on the history of relations, she noted that Poland was one of the first countries to recognize Azerbaijan's independence and establish diplomatic relations. Highlighting the historical ties between Poland and Azerbaijan, she mentioned the contributions of Poles to the creation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and the establishment of Baku, and also acknowledged the bravery of Azerbaijani Colonel Veli bey Yadigar in the fight against fascism.

The deputy minister highlighted the mutually beneficial areas of cooperation between Poland and Azerbaijan, noting their roles as economic leaders, promoters of stability, and drivers of development in their respective regions. She emphasized the significance of Azerbaijan's position, applauding the official cooperation between Baku and the European Union, and expressed the desire for peace and prosperity in Azerbaijan.

During the artistic segment of the official reception, Azerbaijani pianist Etibar Asadli's trio presented Azerbaijani jazz music.

As part of the official reception, the presentation of the first photo exhibition on Azerbaijan's Christian heritage took place. The exhibition, commemorating its 20th anniversary, featured historical photographs and materials presented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Azerbaijan State News Agency (AZERTAC). It was brought to fruition with financial support from the Baku International Multiculturalism Center and the Azerbaijan International Development Agency.

The official reception continued with a banquet, where guests were served with delicacies and beverages from Azerbaijani cuisine.

Elgun Niftali
Special correspondent of AZERTAC