His Excellency Mr Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Dear President Aliyev,
I would like to extend to you my sincerest congratulations on your re-election as the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Your landslide victory is a true indicator of the Azerbaijani people’s trust in your visionary leadership that has made Azerbaijan an island of stability, progress and prosperity in an otherwise unstable and volatile region.
I greatly value Azerbaijan’s strong partnership and friendship with the United States in a variety of fields from energy security to the fight against terrorism. It is commendable that after the heinous terrorist attacks of 9/11, Azerbaijan was one of the first countries to render its unconditional assistance to the United States by opening its airspace and land routes for counterterror operations in Afghanistan, as well as by sending its soldiers to fight there shoulder-to-shoulder with American troops as they previously did so in Iraq and the Balkans.
I applaud the great contributions Azerbaijan is making to the strengthening of the energy security of the United States as well as that of our allies in Europe and the State of Israel. The Southern Energy Corridor, of which Azerbaijan is a lynchpin and crucial part, will help many European nations diversify their energy sources towards achieving their energy independence, which is important also for the United States.
I also appreciate the fact that located in a very difficult region torn by conflicts, Azerbaijan has nevertheless managed to become a beacon of interreligious tolerance and harmony – a successful and internationally recognized model of peaceful co-existence of Muslims, Christians and Jews that is sorely needed in many other parts of the world.
Former Speaker and Current Member of the Nevada State Assembly