AZERI OBSERVER EDITORIAL STAFF
Representatives of Azerbaijan’s State Committee on Work with Diaspora visited Poland and Hungary in October 2019. The main purpose of the visit was to meet our compatriots, to learn about their situation and problems, to achieve joint action by Azerbaijanis living in Eastern Europe. The delegation held several meetings in Poland and Hungary.
During the official trip to Poland, the delegation first visited the Azerbaijan-Poland Friendship monument, erected on the eve of the 90th anniversary of National Leader, Heydar Aliyev, in the ancient capital of Poland, Gniezno, and met with mayor, Tomasz Budasz.
Chairman of the State Committee, Fuad Muradov, shared his thoughts on the activities of the Azerbaijani diaspora in Poland, the Polish community in Azerbaijan and the further deepening of warm relations between the two countries and nations.
The event was attended by Azerbaijani Ambassador in Poland, Hasan Hasanov, who spoke about the development of Azerbaijani-Polish relations.
During the visit to the Azerbaijan Trade House in Poland, the delegation members laid a wreath at the monuments of the heroes of the Azerbaijani and Polish people: the military figure of the Azerbaijani army in Warsaw, Lieutenant General M. Sulkevich and the military figure of the Polish army, Colonel Vali Bay Yadigar.
Afterwards the delegation attended the opening ceremony of the central office of the Association of Polish Azerbaijanis. Fuad Muradov spoke about the significance of the Association of Polish Azerbaijanis and underlined the importance of its activities for the unification of Azerbaijanis.
A meeting was held with Azerbaijanis living in Poland within the framework of the official trip to Poland. Fuad Muradov noted the importance of the participation of the great-grandson and son of a famous Azerbaijani writer and satirist, Jalil Mammadguluzade, in the meeting. The chairman especially welcomed Martin Javanshir and his son, Przemek Javanshir, the successors of generation of Jalil Mammadguluzade, noting that their presence was of great importance.
Stressing the willingness of the State Committee on Work with Diaspora to provide support to Azerbaijanis living in Poland, Fuad Muradov enquired the difficulties faced by our compatriots including the participants of the meeting. The Chairman of the State Committee emphasized that joint activities of the two Diasporas, the development of the joint cooperation in the implementation of various projects can contribute to the friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Poland, as well as to the cooperation in various fields.
Afterwards, in his speech the Chairman of the State Committee touched upon the following topics: the activities of the Azerbaijani diaspora in Poland and Europe as a whole, the Azerbaijani Karabakh schools in different countries, the activities of our compatriots abroad during the participation of Azerbaijani athletes in international competitions and the effectiveness of cooperation with the Turkic diaspora.
Ambassador Hasan Hasanov shared his views and recommendations on the organization of our compatriots living in Poland, as well as their better integration into society.
At the event, our compatriots initiated the establishment of a Coordinating Council for joint and more coordinated activities. Based on voting, Khalil Hasanov, Lala Zeynalova and Rasul Mammadov, were elected coordinators of the Coordination Council of Polish Azerbaijanis.
Afterwards the delegation visited the Department for Cooperation with Polish Diaspora and Poles Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland. The Deputy Director, Slavomir Kowalski and Diplomat Rafal Poborski hosted Azerbaijani delegation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland. It was reported that millions of Polish people live in different countries today and were always in the spotlight of the state. It was spoken in detail about the diaspora policy of Azerbaijani State, the projects implemented by the Committee, Azerbaijanis living in Poland, as well as the Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territories.
Representatives of the State Committee on Work with Diaspora met with students and teaching staff at Warsaw University. The participants of the competition “What do I know about Azerbaijan” held by the Warsaw University also attended this meeting. The existence of the department for Azerbaijani Studies at this ancient University was emphasized as a positive case.
The speeches delivered by the university teachers and Azerbaijani scientists, Nargiz Akhundova and the head of the Azerbaijan Cultural Centre, Shahla Kazimova were very much welcomed at the meeting. Recalling their visit to Azerbaijan and returning with great impressions from that country, the Polish students also presented a video of their visit. The university was presented with books on the history and culture of Nagorno-Karabakh, an integral part of Azerbaijan.
Delegation of the State Committee on Work with Diaspora held several meetings in Hungary. The visit of State Committee’s delegation to Hungary started on October 25. On the first day, the delegation visited the monument to the national leader, Heydar Aliyev at the Azerbaijani Embassy in Hungary and laid flowers. Then there was a meeting with Farkas Gergely, the head of the Hungarian-Azerbaijani inter-parliamentary friendship group. Chairman of the State Committee, Fuad Muradov, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Hungary, Vilayat Guliyev and the delegation members attended the event. During the discussions, the parties exchanged views on diaspora and migration issues.
Gergely spoke about the history and effective development of friendly relations between the two countries, as well as the diaspora policy implemented towards Hungarian communities living abroad. The head of the friendship group commented on the Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territories and underlined Hungary’s support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
Fuad Muradov noted his appreciation of the existing friendly relations between the two countries. He also spoke of Azerbaijan’s policy regarding the diaspora, the State Committee’s structure, activities and large-scale projects, the activities of the Azerbaijani communities abroad, the integration of our compatriots into the local community, the protection of national identity, the educational life of Azerbaijani students in Hungary and the international projects where the Hungarian youth had participated.
Ambassador Vilayet Guliyev stated that such a meeting was a positive step at a time when both countries were experiencing an important period of development. He provided information about Azerbaijani youth living in Hungary and stressed the great importance attached by our compatriots to the education in this country. It was emphasized that the Azerbaijani diaspora is active in Hungary, which has a positive impact on the relations between the two countries and that bilateral relations are of great importance for both Hungary and Azerbaijan.
At the end of the talks, Gergely was presented with souvenirs on the history and culture of Azerbaijan on behalf of the State Committee. Later, the head of the friendship group introduced the Azerbaijani representatives to the ancient history of the building of Hungarian Parliament.
The joint activities of Azerbaijani and Hungarian diaspora members were discussed in Hungary. A meeting was held at the representation of the Turkish Council in Budapest. During the meeting the views were expressed on Hungarian communities around the world, problems of migration, integration of Diasporas in different countries into local communities.
Chairman of the State Committee, Fuad Muradov spoke about the geography of the Azerbaijani Diaspora, the activities of the Azerbaijani community in Hungary, its relations with the Hungarian people, and the on-going projects for the preservation of national identity, culture and language of our compatriots. The chairman highly appreciated the work of the representation.
On October 26, Fuad Muradov also attended the founding meeting of the Coordination Council of Azerbaijanis living in Eastern Europe in Budapest. The event was attended by Ambassador Vilayat Guliyev and our compatriots living and studying in Eastern Europe.
Speaking about the activities of Azerbaijanis living in Eastern Europe, Ambassador Guliyev praised the work carried out by the State Committee for the organization of our compatriots and stressed the fruitful visit of the State Committee’s delegation to Hungary. The Ambassador said that our compatriots living abroad play an important role in the promotion of Azerbaijan, but he also believes that it will be useful to hold constituent meetings and that the establishment of Coordination Councils will be beneficial for further strengthening of the process.
Fuad Muradov spoke about the State’s diaspora policy, opportunities for the organization of Azerbaijanis around the world and their ways of integration into the societies of the countries where they live and work. Stressing the need for such open discussions with our compatriots, the chairman stated that, regardless of the country of residence, every Azerbaijani should work towards preserving the independence of the Azerbaijani State, promoting Azerbaijan in the world. In this regard, Fuad Muradov also emphasised that the intellectual potential of Azerbaijanis living in Eastern Europe is high. Participants were informed that an Azerbaijani house will open in Hungary.
A presentation of the Fund for Support to Azerbaijani Diaspora was given at the meeting, and a video showing the activities of the State Committee was also displayed to participants.
One of the coordinators of the Coordinating Council of Polish Azerbaijanis, the winner of the essay competition held during the 2nd Summer Camp of Diaspora Youth, Ms. Lale Zeynalova was presented a gift on behalf of the State Committee. Later on that day, the Coordination Council was established and coordinators were selected.
There was a wide exchange of views on the activities of the Coordinating Council, problems of our compatriots were discussed and the questions they’re interested in have been answered.
Another meeting of the delegation was held with the Hungarian teachers at the Yunus Emre Institute.
The chairman of the State Committee, Fuad Muradov spoke to the participants of the diaspora policy of Azerbaijan, the activities of the organization headed by him.
The delegation from the State Committee was informed that the teachers at that university were trying to introduce Azerbaijan to Hungarian students and Hungary to Azerbaijani students.
They also talked about a film, “Ceasefire” shot by the Hungarian-Turan Foundation in Karabakh. Andras Biro, the founder of the Hungarian-Turan Foundation, said that they wanted to bring Karabakh realities to the Hungarian public by making the film. It was noted that the film about the occupation of the territories of Karabakh by the Armenians was widely presented in Hungary.
The delegation thanked the leadership of the Yunus Emre Institute for an interesting meeting in a friendly atmosphere. It was underlined that such meetings have a positive impact on the closer integration, organization of our Diaspora, and the cooperation of Turkish-speaking people living abroad.
At the end of the meeting, the Azerbaijani delegation became acquainted with the exhibition organized by the Institute.