Baku, Azerbaijan, May 26
Head of Nizami Ganjavi Scientific Centre at the University of Oxford on behalf of Azerbaijan professor Nargiz Pashayeva and head of Nizami Ganjavi Scientific Centre on behalf of UK, professor of Islamic History Robert Hoyland have held a meeting with the Member of the British Parliament, co-rapporteur of Council of Europe on Azerbaijan in 2003-2006 Lord Malcolm Bruce.
Lord German, member of the House of Lords, co-chairman of the society on behalf of the UK, also attended the meeting, which featured the establishment of the British Foundation for the Study of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus.
Bruce stood for parliament for a third time at the newly created seat of Gordon, based largely on the former Aberdeenshire West. Fairgrieve retired, and at the 1983 general election he was very narrowly elected and became the Liberal MP for Gordon with a majority of just 850, and has held the seat for more than twenty-five years. He is politically moderate, an outspoken opponent of coalition with the Labour Party.
He also became Rector of the University of Dundee in 1986 for three years. In 1989 he was appointed as the Environment spokesman, before having the Scotland portfolio after 1990.
After the 1992 general election, at which he narrowly held Gordon by just 274 votes, he again became the Trade and Industry spokesman. By 1994 he had become the Treasury spokesman. Whilst a Treasury spokesman, it was Bruce who developed the idea of a 'penny on income tax'.
Bruce won Gordon for the fifth consecutive time at the 2001 general election with a still rising majority of 7,879. Following his re-election, Bruce became the Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in 2003.
He is currently the Chairman of the International Development Committee. As the Chair of the International Development Select Committee since 2005, he has been scrutinizing the work of the Department of International Development.
Professor Nargiz Pashayeva said the meeting was held on the eve of the 98th anniversary of the founding of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. She said Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was of special importance for Azerbaijanis. Professor Pashayeva highlighted the activity of Anglo-Azerbaijan Society, which she has co-chaired since 2007.
She also spoke of the activity of the Scientific Centre of Azerbaijan and Caucasian Studies named after Nizami Ganjavi. Professor Nargiz Pashayeva hailed activities of head of the Nizami Ganjavi Scientific Centre on behalf of UK, professor of Islamic History Robert Hoyland, Professor of Persian Studies Edmund Herzig, Professors Paul Wordsworth, Nikoloz Aleksidze, Marek Jankowiak, Nick Evans, historical and anthropological archaeologist Irina Shingiray, and Maroussia Bednarkiewicz.
Professor Nargiz Pashayeva proposed establishing the British Foundation for the Study of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus. The idea was born as a result of consultations with scholar and historian specializing in the medieval history of the Middle East Robert Hoyland, Professor at the University of St Andrews Andrew Peacock and Professor of Arabic Studies at University of Exeter Robert Gleave.
The scholars are members of the Board of Trustees of the British Foundation. Professor Nargiz Pashayeva was elected as chairperson of the Board.
Professor Pashayeva said the Foundation aimed to contribute to bilateral scientific, cultural, educational ties between the two countries.
"The establishment of the British Foundation is a historical and cultural necessity," she said.
Professor Nargiz Pashayeva invited Lord Malcolm Bruce to become a member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation. Lord Malcolm Bruce accepted the invitation. They agreed to hold the presentation of the Foundation in London in near future.