"Considering where Azerbaijan was
in 1991 when we regained our independence [after 70 years] and
where we are today, no objective observer could deny that real,
substantial progress has been made. Had you told me in 1991 that
elections - even with their shortcomings - would become normal
events within a decade and would be praised by a Council of Europe
rapporteur, I would not have believed you.
"Had you told me in 1991, after 70 years of Soviet communism,
that within a decade censorship would be outlawed and human rights
sanctified in law, I probably would have laughed. Had you told
me in 1991 that within a decade there would be hundreds of independent
media outlets in Azerbaijan, I would have been amazed but unconvinced.
Yet all of that has come to pass within this past decade."
Hafiz Pashayev, Azerbaijan's Ambassador to the U.S. since
1993, in his testimony in Washington, D.C. on May 25, 2000, before
the U.S. Congressional Commission on Security and Cooperation
in Europe. See Pashayev's entire address at Azerbaijan International's
Web site - AZER.com. Click on Topics, Quotes, then Pashayev.
From Azerbaijan International (8.3) Autumn 2000.
© Azerbaijan International 2000. All rights reserved.
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