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Azerbaijan marks Independence Day, seeks climate action with S. Korea

May 27, 2024 - 22:42 By Sanjay Kumar
Azerbaijani Ambassador to Korea Ramin Hasanov delivers opening remarks at Azerbaijan's Independence Day event at the Grand Hyatt in Yongsan-gu, Seoul on Wednesday. (Azerbaijani Embassy in Seoul/The Korea Herald)

The Azerbaijan Embassy said it hopes to join hands with South Korea on climate action while marking its Independence Day in Seoul on Wednesday.

The annual event commemorates the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic on May 28, 1918, which ended nearly two centuries of Iranian and Russian rule and marked the restoration of Azerbaijan's statehood.

"It (Azerbaijan) was the first republic ever in the entire Muslim world. It granted its female citizens the right to vote, ahead of most Western democracies," underlined Azerbaijani Ambassador to Korea Ramin Hasanov in his remarks.

Despite its collapse due to Soviet occupation in 1920, the Republic achieved significant diplomatic recognition from the Paris Peace Conference, according to Hasanov.

Azerbaijan regained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The country faced grave domestic and geopolitical challenges such as military conflicts, due to territorial disputes but consolidated thanks to far-reaching reforms and resolute leadership, said Hasanov highlighting Azerbaijan's role as a solid energy supplier and a vital bridge between Asia and Europe.

"Azerbaijan accounts for around 70 percent of the region's total economic power," he stated.

Hasanov was referring to the Caucasus region, which encompasses parts of Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey and Iran and is often characterized by its mountainous terrain and strategic location between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.

Citing the declaration of 2024 as a Year of Solidarity for a Green World to foster momentum on climate action by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Hasanov reiterated his country’s consistent initiatives on global climate action and green growth with Korea.

Azerbaijan has been elected by the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to host COP29, the largest global event ever hosted by the country.

The conference will be held at Baku Stadium.

“We need to work together constructively to agree on a new collective quantified goal on climate finance," said the ambassador, stressing climate financing as a key topic of discussion under Azerbaijan’s presidency.

“We hope to actively cooperate with Korea, which has great experience and excellent know-how in the said fields,” said Hasanov, recalling 32 years of positive experience and diplomatic ties.

According to the embassy, Azerbaijan is South Korea's largest economic and trade partner in the South Caucasus, with 82 Korean companies operating in trade, industry, construction and services.

“Dozens of Azerbaijani young people are studying in Korean universities, with most of them in Korean,” added Hasanov, applauding KOTRA and KOICA for promoting public interest and awareness of Korea in Azerbaijan.