Italy marks centennial of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic
The 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic has been solemnly marked in Italy.
The event was co-organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the Embassy of Azerbaijan in France and the Holy See.
The guests first got acquainted with the photo and video materials held by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
The exhibition covered the meetings of the founders of the first Republic, the Declaration of Independence as well as the development of the oil industry.
The exposition aroused great interest among the participants. The viewers were given editions about the history of Azerbaijan in Italian.
Addressing the reception held at the Palace of the Cancelleria, Azerbaijani Ambassador to France and the Vatican Rahman Mustafayev spoke about the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, the successes achieved in all spheres, creative work in a short time.
He noted that the first parliamentary republic in the Islamic Eastthe Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan was proclaimed on May 28, 1918.
The advanced state institutions, a multi-party system, a pluralistic parliament were established in the country. All citizens, regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion and social status had equal rights.
Speaking about the successes achieved by the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the Ambassador noted that the measures taken in the sphere of state building, establishment of the national anthem, flag and coat of arms opened a new glorious page in the history of Azerbaijan. He stressed that one of the most important achievements of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was giving women the right to vote. It was noted that the representatives of the great states, who watched the achievements of the first republic, welcomed its leaders. In 1919, the British High Commissioner for the Caucasus, Oliver Waldrop, said that Azerbaijan was the best model for other ethnic groups in Transcaucasia.
Noting that January 2019 will mark the 25 years of the establishment of ties between Azerbaijan and Vatican, Mustafayev stressed that during this time, bilateral ties reached a high level in all areas and are dynamically developing. He brought to the attention that these ties are based on mutual respect, active dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation.
The Ambassador noted the mutual visits of the heads of state, in particular, the visit of Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis to Azerbaijan in 2002, the discussion of topical issues of bilateral and international relations during the visit of the Foreign Minister of the Vatican, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, this year. He spoke about the close cooperation of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Vatican, as well as the fruits of this joint activity.
Within the framework of this cooperation, the unique symbols of the history and culture of the Vatican were restored, including Saint Marcellino and Pietro's catacombs, the sculpture of Zeus in the Vatican Museum, the wall niches in the Sistine Chapel.
The Ambassador spoke about the discovery of the catacombs of St. Sebastian restored by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, whose history is more than 2,000 years old.
It was noted that archival research was carried out with the support of the Vatican Culture Council and the Apostolic Library, new information on such thinkers of the era of medieval Azerbaijan as Nizami, Fuzuli, Nasimi and others was found. It was stressed that Azerbaijan intends to continue multilateral cooperation and dialogue with Vatican.
He informed in detail about important projects implemented with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Mustafayev stressed that despite the fact that most of the country's population is Muslim, Azerbaijan supports the restoration of monuments of Christian religious and cultural heritage, which is a clear example of Interreligious dialogue.
The reception dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic continued with the national music program of Azerbaijani artists under the guidance of People's Artist of Azerbaijan Enver Sadikhov and Honored Artist Emil Afrasiyab.
Within the framework of the event, a documentary film was shown about the culture, nature, economic successes of Azerbaijan.
The participants of the event were given publications on catacombs restored in St. Sebastian's Church with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.