On the occasion of the national holiday of the Republic of Azerbaijan – Republic Day the official reception was organized in the “Crown Plaza” hotel situated in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia on May 27, 2015. Ms.Maja Gojkovic, Chairperson of the Serbian Parliament, Mr.Rasim Ljajic Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunication and Co-chairman of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Serbia, Mr.Aleksandr Antic, Minister of Energy of the Republic of Serbia, Ms.Jardanka Joksimovic, Minister on Euro integration issues, Mr.Oliver Antic, the counselor of the President of the Republic of Serbia, Mr.Radomir Andric, the Chairman of the Writers Union of Serbia and other high rank state and governmental officials, members of parliament, leaders of political parties, representatives of the Serbian Olympic Committee, administration of Belgrade city, Christian and Muslim communities, diplomatic corps, public and non-governmental organizations accredited in Belgrade, Serbia-Azerbaijan Trade Chamber, Azerbaijan Cultural Center and Serbia-Azerbaijan Friendship Community and Azerbaijanis living, working and studying in Serbia, as well as mass media representatives participated in the event.
After playing the national anthems of Azerbaijan and Serbia, H.E.Mr.Eldar Hasanov, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Republic of Serbia told about the history of founding of the first democratic parliamentary republic in the East and the Muslim world. He noted that Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was founded on May 28, 1918 by adopting the “Declaration of independence”. Then he informed the participants about the history of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the struggle for liberation of its people for many years, and the restoration of the state independence and adoption of “The Constitutional Act on State Independence” on October 18, 1991. Ambassador underlined that 28 May is one of the most important days in the history of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan, which is the legal successor of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic of 1918-1920 – the first secular, legal and democratic state in the Muslim East.
Ambassador also informed the participants about the Armenian-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as the occupation of the eternal land of Azerbaijan – Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions by the Armenian armed forces, because of which more than 1 million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced persons. Mr.Hasanov stated that the UN Security Council four resolutions which condemns the invasion and demands complete and unconditional withdrawal of occupying forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan have not been implemented yet. At the same time, he noted that Armenia still ignores resolutions and documents adopted by the OSCE, Council of Europe and other international organizations. However, Ambassador expressed the hope that the conflict will be solved in the framework of the generally accepted norms and principles of international law on territorial integrity of states and inviolability of state borders. In this regard, he urged Serbia – Azerbaijan’s strategic partner that fulfills the OSCE Chairmanship this year, to increase its efforts in this direction.
Ambassador Hasanov also informed the participants on the rapid development of Azerbaijan-Serbia cooperation, the high-level bilateral relations that have reached the level of strategic partnership. He noted that the fruitful cooperation between two countries is clearly seen from the visits of high-level officials. He mentioned the visits of the Chairman of the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia Ms.Maja Gojkovic in December of 2014, Prime Minister Alexandar Vucic in April 2015, Minister of Mining and Energy Alexandar Antic in May 2015, Minister for European Integration Jardanka Joksimovic, Minister of Culture and Information Ivan Tasovac to Azerbaijan. He also added that the Mr.Ivica Dacic, First Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the OSCE Chai-in-Office will visit Azerbaijan in a few days and H.E.Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, President of the Republic of Serbia also intends to participate in the opening ceremony of the First European Games to be held in Baku.
Ambassador Hasanov informed the participants about the European Games “Baku-2015” and said that more than 6000 sportsmen, including more than 130 sportsmen from Serbia, will take part in this competition, which includes more than 20 sport types.
Mr.Hasanov stated that Azerbaijan is a tolerant country where people with different religions and cultures live. He underscored that under the leadership of the President Ilham Aliyev the democratic reforms, as well as large-scale projects in energy and transport sector have been realized and this independent economic policy turned Azerbaijan to one of the world’s most dynamically developing countries and a reliable partner at the international arena.
Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia Mr.R.Ljajic congratulated people and the government of Azerbaijan with the Republic Day and stated that Serbian government and the leadership pays great importance to the relations with Azerbaijan. He said that mutual visits of the heads of the state guaranteed the deepening of bilateral and multilateral cooperation between two countries. He also underlined the expansion of cooperation in various fields between Azerbaijan and Serbia and expressed confidence in the future development of these relations. He stressed that last May during the floods in Serbia, Azerbaijan was one of the first countries who sent humanitarian aid immediately. He expressed his gratitude to friendly Azerbaijani state and its people, and in particular to the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and underlined that people of Serbia will never forget this noble action.
The event continued with the presentation of the films on the history, culture, daily life of Azerbaijan, as well as the European Games “Baku-2015”.
Books and journals about the history and culture of Azerbaijan and the works of famous Azerbaijani writes translated into Serbian language by the Embassy of Azerbaijan were presented to the guests.