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Spotlight Article

Facing New Threats with Old Friends

Azerbaijan America Alliance
September 11, 2014


On the thirteenth anniversary of the horrific September 11th attacks on the United States, we recall the support of our partners in Azerbaijan. When President Haydar Aliyev learned of the tragedy in 2001, he was one of the first international leaders to contact President Bush to offer his and his country’s support.

This gesture was not symbolic, but a promise that continues to be acted on. Azerbaijan has offered Peace-keeping troops, supplies, and the use of their airspace. The Consulate of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles articulates on their website:

“Azerbaijan was among the first countries to offer the United States unconditional support in the war against terrorism. Azerbaijan joined all 12 international conventions on counter-terrorism and reinforces regional cooperation on fighting terrorism through signing numerous agreements and participating in the activities of regional organizations such as NATO.”

Azerbaijan’s contributions have been critical to the United States and NATO’s counter terrorism efforts, but Azerbaijan has extended their generosity beyond practical political and strategic support. Azerbaijanis have also sustained Americans efforts to heal, proving to be not only allies, but friends of the United States.

Thanks in part to the leadership of Azerbaijan, United States officials raised more than $40 million for a memorial to honor the victims of the terrorist controlled plane crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11th. Founder of the Azerbaijan America Alliance, Anar Mammadov, represented Azerbaijan at the groundbreaking ceremony, and helped begin construction by driving surveyors’ stakes.  The memorial includes a Memorial Plaza, a Wall of Names, 40 Memorial Groves, a Field of Honor, and major reforestation of the landscape in rural western Pennsylvania at the site of the crash.

US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Anar Mammadov drive in surveyors’ stakes at the site of the Flight 93 Memorial

Americans owe a debt of gratitude for the unwavering support of Azerbaijan in the face of threats to the Security of the United States. In his address to the nation yesterday, President Obama highlighted that America will not fight terrorism alone, but with “a broad coalition of partners.” President Obama succinctly articulated the strength found in commonality:

“We stand with people who fight for their own freedom, and we rally other nations on behalf of our common security and common humanity.”

It is doubtless that the United States will need allies and friends to combat ISIL. Therefore, it is important when the threat of terrorism is not yet eradicated, to acknowledge those nations who are allies in combatting terrorism, and it is important, on this day of remembrance, to acknowledge the those nations who are friends of the United States. 

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