Azerbaijan celebrates October 18 as the Independence Day after regaining it when the USSR fell.
History inevitably proves to us that preserving the independence is much more difficult than gaining it. Azerbaijan twice had the opportunity to become a sovereign state during the 20th century. Unfortunately, the first opportunity failed shortly thereafter because of outside interference, internal opposition and the general political instability.
Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the first secular democratic state in the Islamic world, which was established in 1918, existed for only 23 months.
The second time such a situation emerged more than 70 years thereafter. The collapse of the Soviet Union provided Azerbaijan with an opportunity to restore the lost independence.
The Declaration on the State Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan has been adopted in the extraordinary session of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan on August 30, 1991. The historic session of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan unanimously adopted the Constitutional Act “On the State Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan” on October 18, 1991.
The act of independence was affirmed by a nationwide referendum on 29 December 1991, when the Soviet Union officially ceased to exist. The people of Azerbaijan have voted for the State independence. In May 1992, the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan (Parliament) has adopted the State Anthem of the Republic of Azerbaijan and later on, the State flag, the State Coat-of-Arms depicting eight points star with the flames.
This year marks the 26th year of the re-establishment of the Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The President H.E.Mr.Ilham Aliyev mentioned in one of his speeches that the early years of independence were very difficult for our country and people. Civil war, the occupation of our lands, economic and political crises, was very serious blow to our independence. The return of National Leader Heydar Aliyev to power brought Azerbaijani nation to normal life. Azerbaijan embarked on political and economic reforms and the country set on the path of development. Since that time, Azerbaijan has been experiencing a period of dynamic development, our independence is strengthening and reinforcing.
Today Azerbaijan is recognized as a very strong partner and the stable country in the region.