Honorable Air Marshal Irfan Ahmad, SI (M), Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Project), the Chief Guest of today’s reception, distinguished excellencies, esteemed members of the Pakistan government and Armed Forces, respected colleagues, media representatives, friends, ladies and gentlemen,
Assalam-o-Alaikum and very good evening.
It is an immense pleasure for me to address you today on the occasion of the 105th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Armed Forces.
The people of Azerbaijan have for centuries fought for liberty and statehood along its ancient history. Because of rich natural resources and strategic location, our motherland has always undergone pressures and military aggressions by strong states.
After the collapse of the czarist Russia, the first democratic republic in the East – the People’s Republic of Azerbaijan was created in 1918. During its 23 months of existence, the Republic founded all attributes of an independent state, including the national army. Fighting the occupant policy of Armenians and Bolsheviks, the government of Azerbaijan made a decision on creation of the military corps with the status of division on 26th June 1918, and thus cornerstone of the national army was laid.
Unfortunately, the national army units – one of the most important attributes of independence were abolished after occupation of Azerbaijan by the Red Army on 28th April 1920.
Nevertheless, being part of the Soviet Union, the people of Azerbaijan continued to demonstrate its military spirit and traditions. Devoted to its rich military and historical traditions, the people of Azerbaijan showed real heroism in World War II. Azerbaijan divisions traversed a glorious path of battle from the Caucasus to Berlin.
During the leadership of the national leader – Heydar Aliyev, training of national officers and formation of army were high priority. In 1971, due to big efforts of Heydar Aliyev, secondary military education institute, the military lyceum named after prominent commander – Major General Jamshid Nakhchyvanski was established in Baku.
At the time, Azerbaijan used to send about 60.000 youth to the Soviet Army, yearly. Therefore, opening of such military school in Baku had a huge significance in promoting the military spirit of the people of Azerbaijan.
Heydar Aliyev achieved admission of Azerbaijani youth to the Baku Army and Naval Academies, as well as other military academies in the former USSR on preferential terms. So, 20 years before gaining independence of Azerbaijan, national leader Heydar Aliyev provided high-level military training basis for the nation. After the independence was regained on 18 October 1991, these military education institutions served as main basis for the formation of the Azerbaijan Armed Forces.
After regaining independence, all state attributes of Azerbaijan, including Armed Forces were restored and on May 22, 1998, with the presidential decree, June 26 was declared as the Day of Azerbaijan Armed Forces.
Since its establishment on 26 June 1918, the Azerbaijan Armed Forces have faced many security challenges and demonstrated remarkable resilience, unwavering dedication, and a strong commitment to safeguarding the security and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The turning point in the history of Azerbaijan Armed Forces came in 2020 during the 44-Day Patriotic War of Azerbaijan. In response to Armenian provocations, Azerbaijan launched a successful counteroffensive military campaign to retake its 20% territories, which had been under Armenian occupation for almost 30 years.
The Azerbaijan Armed Forces carried out the war of the 21st century and destroyed Armenian fascism on the battlefield, thus demonstrating the strength, determination and professionalism of the Azerbaijan Armed Forces.
The counteroffensive operation of Azerbaijan Army with the later adopted “Iron Fist” code name, made the aggressor state of Armenia, to admit its unconditional capitulation in 44 days. Azerbaijan managed to fulfil the requirements of the international law, implement on the battlefield the 4 UN Security Council resolutions that remained on paper for 27 years.
Ladies and gentlemen,
With a heavy heart, I must acknowledge the sacrifices made by all our martyrs and war veterans, who demonstrated unwavering courage, determination, and resilience in ended the 30-year long conflict and restoring and defending Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. The sacrifices of our fallen heroes will forever be remembered and honored by our nation and future generations.
May their souls rest in eternal peace, and may their sacrifice inspire us to strive for a better tomorrow.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Since the end of the 44-Day Patriotic War, under the supervision of the Supreme Commander in Chief, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijan Armed Forces have been undergoing significant transformation, which includes implementation of reforms based on the outcomes of comprehensive analysis of the 44-Day Patriotic War.
Today, we can firmly state that Azerbaijan, under the visionary leadership of the Supreme Commander in Chief, the president of Azerbaijan, has built a capable and professional Armed Forces, which is not only ready to defend Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and address country’s potential security challenges, but also make significant contributions to regional and global peace and security.
Azerbaijan and Pakistan enjoy strategic partnership relations which also cover the cooperation in the defense and security fields.
The Azerbaijan-Pakistan military cooperation has been built on the foundations of brotherhood, shared values, and common objectives. The exchange of high-level military visits, participation in training programs, conducting joint exercises, as well as growing military technical cooperation have further deepened the military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Pakistan. This collaboration has served to enhance the capabilities and professionalism of both our armed forces, enabling us to face emerging security challenges effectively.
In 2021, Azerbaijan hosted joint special forces exercise under the code name “Three Brothers”, which included participation of special forces of Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Türkiye. The aim of such exercises is to enhance joint operational readiness of our armies, improve their level of interoperability and enable our countries to jointly address all kinds of regional security challenges.
We are planning to continue conducting more combined joint military exercises in multilateral formats.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Before I conclude my speech, I would like to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude to the esteemed leadership of the Pakistan Army for their gracious support and cooperation, as well as for making tonight’s reception even more memorable for endorsing the idea of having a live performance by the renowned Pakistan Army Band, which will elevate the ambiance of this event.
Long live the Azerbaijan-Pakistan friendship!
Azerbaijan-Pakistan Dosti Zindabad!Speech of Colonel Mehman Novruzov, Azerbaijan Defence Attaché to Pakistan at the reception dedicated to the 105th Anniversary of Azerbaijan Armed Forces.