From Altai Efendiev, GUAM Secretary General

His Excellency Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan


On behalf of the international Secretariat of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM and me personally, allow me to congratulate You and, in your person, the people of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the National Independence Day!

One hundred four years ago, on May 28, the birth of the newly independent state – the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, was solemnly proclaimed, establishing the first democratic republic in the East and the Muslim world. Long cherished dreams for national independence, married with progressive ideas, principles, and universal values, were laid at the foundations of the young nation well before they were applied in many advanced and developed countries in Europe or elsewhere.

Though the first republic was short-lived, its ideals and dreams have never faded in national memory, just to be revived and realized decades later, despite attempts of suppression and annihilation.

The new Republic of Azerbaijan has been proclaimed as the successor of the ADR, with national insignia and ideals of independence preserved. The nation has entered a new era in its history with many dramatic and tragic but also glorious and heroic moments along the path. A lot has been compressed in the last three decades of its new history, - from the danger of the collapse at the beginning, - to the national resurrection, economic revival, building of a strong state, and the glorious victory in the liberation of its historic lands and the restoration of the territorial integrity, as its culmination today. In between, there have been unwavering determination and hard work of the national leadership, based on strategic vision, wisdom, patience, and selfless service to its people.

As a result, the Republic of Azerbaijan today is a modern and prosperous nation, dynamic and diversifying economy, vibrant society, important actor, and an authoritative voice in the international arena, projecting and promoting peace, stability, cooperation, dialogue, and understanding.

The struggle for independence is viewed by many as a manifestation of a strong survival instinct of your nation, its ability to resist multiple pressures and challenges, and to persist in most dire situations, relying only on or mostly on self. Today this experience of independent Azerbaijan serves as a source of inspiration, an example to follow for the nations confronting existential challenges and defending their right to existence.

This is of particular importance nowadays, in a situation when the international order is being grossly violated and the international peace, stability, and security have been severely undermined. Such critical situations require unity, solidarity, firmness, the uncompromised and irreconcilable stance of the world leaders in defending international peace and order, and the rights of nations for independence.

It is in this context, Your Excellency, that I would like to express our deep gratitude for and high appreciation of your firm moral and principled stance in defending the norms and principles of international law and universal values, as well as providing essential support and needed aid to those in need. An example for many other leaders to follow!

We are grateful for the role the Republic of Azerbaijan is playing in developing and strengthening cooperation among the friendly nations and strategic partners united in the framework of our Organizations. We firmly believe that the potential of GUAM as a regional organization has yet to be utilized to make our cooperation more resultful and fruitful, thus contributing to regional and international peace, security and stability.


On this festive occasion, once again, we would like to congratulate You and, in your person, the people of the Republic of Azerbaijan on this great national holiday and to wish the people of Azerbaijan peace and further prosperity! We also would like to wish You, Excellency, every success in your mission of pursuing your cherished dreams and visions of an independent, strong and prosperous Azerbaijan! Happy Independence Day!

Your sincerely,


Altai Efendiev

GUAM Secretary General



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