Baku, Azerbaijan, June 17
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
Asim Mollazade, Azerbaijani MP, chairman of the Democratic Reforms Party has published an article in the Daily Caller, titled "Moderate Muslim Ally Azerbaijan Needs Constructive Critics."
"Imagine a country that emerged from totalitarianism with an imperfect government. It is allied with the West. And it is striving to join the worldwide community of free-market democracies," writes Mollazade.
"That's a familiar question for the U.S. and its allies," he said. "Our critics should remember that we endured seven decades of Soviet rule, persevere in a tough neighborhood and suffer from the occupation of 20 percent of our territory."
Mollazade said that Azerbaijan's position at the crossroads of Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East makes Azerbaijan a hub of trade and transportation.
"Another neighbor, Armenia, invaded our country during the 1990s and occupied the Nagorno-Karabakh region and adjoining areas amounting to one fifth of our internationally recognized territory," he said. "For Azerbaijanis, the worst human rights violation is the displacement of about 1 million of our people as a result of the Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh."
"Human rights advocates should also appreciate Azerbaijan's tradition of tolerance," he said. "For centuries, Muslims, Christians, and Jews have lived together in harmony in our country."
Mollazade said that our critics should recognize that religious liberty is a basic human right that is under siege in many other countries but remains secure in Azerbaijan.
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