US congressman makes statement on Republic Day of Azerbaijan

Washington, June 8, AZERTAC

US Congressman from New Jersey Donald Payne has made a statement on the 99th anniversary of Azerbaijan`s Republic Day.

In his statement, the Congressman said that in 1918 Azerbaijan established the first democratic and secular Muslim state in the world, but its independence was short lived. "Despite this, having got rid of the Soviet Union control, Azerbaijan restored its independence in 1991."

Congressman Payne described Azerbaijan as a US ally, and hailed its supporting the United States and NATO forces, Azerbaijani servicemen`s fighting shoulder to shoulder with the US troops in Afghanistan as well as the country`s contribution to operations in Kosovo and Iraq.

He said Azerbaijan established close relationship with Israel in the 1990s, describing Azerbaijan as home to the Jewish community.

Payne also commended Azerbaijan for its role in the international community as a member of the UN, NATO and OSCE and described Azerbaijan as a strong partner of the US in a strategically important and complicated region.

Yusif Babanli

Special Correspondent

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