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Azerbaijan: A Quarter Century Since Restoring Independence, A Thriving U.S. Ally

Azerbaijan: A Quarter Century Since Restoring Independence, A Thriving U.S. Ally

Azerbaijan: A Quarter Century Since Restoring Independence, A Thriving U.S. Ally is an advertising supplement produced by The Washington Times

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After the Massacre Azerbaijan 1990

From tragedy to independence

Twenty-five years ago today, while then-President George H.W. Bush was delivering his State of the Union message before a joint session of Congress in Washington, Soviet troops attacked unarmed civilian protesters in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku, killing some 133 people and wounding hundreds of others.

Why Azerbaijan matters to the United States

Why would a relatively stable country at the intersection of the Middle East, Europe and Asia, with a strong economy and burgeoning energy supply, matter to the United States? It's a great question with a relatively easy answer. In 1991, Azerbaijan gained its independence from the Soviet Union and has since proven to be a strong strategic partner to the United States as an energy producer, a staunch opponent of Russia and Iran, and a reliable international ally.

A strategic American ally that must receive our full support

In the middle of Eurasia sits the Caucasus Mountains, flowing down to the Caspian Sea. And on the West Shore of the Caspian sits a small and very important country named Azerbaijan. This country sits between Russia to the North, Iran to the South and the Caspian Sea to the East. Azerbaijan is of particular importance since it holds the rights to significant reserves of oil and gas in the region. All of which makes this small country very strategically important to the West.

America's reliable partner

A few weeks ago in France, a bastion of democracy, Islamic radicals deliberately targeted a kosher supermarket and killed four Jews. In the frequently criticized Republic of Azerbaijan, Jews celebrated another Sabbath and prayed at Baku's newly built synagogue. The synagogue, one of the largest outside Israel, was opened in this Muslim nation of 8 million at a ceremony attended by the Chief Rabbi of Israel. And yet, despite this glaring contrast, some in our media and foreign policy elite continue to single out Azerbaijan's leadership for criticism.

Shahdag: The skiing gem of Azerbaijan

The complex is less than 20 miles north of the town of Gusar, about 8,200 feet above sea level. Temperatures are perfect for skiing, bottoming out around 34 degrees on winter nights and topping out at 68 degrees during the summer days.