Pakistani leaders have congratulated the government and people of Azerbaijan ahead of their National Salvation Day observed every year on June 15.

A gathering was held at the Azerbaijan embassy in the capital Islamabad on Thursday evening, attended by Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan and other officials and journalists.

Addressing the event, Khan said his country would always stand with the “brotherly nation” of Azerbaijan in both good and bad times. “Let me say that our shared values don’t just go back to 30 or 40 years, but our relations are centuries old,” he said.

Congratulating Azerbaijan on the recent victory against Armenia, Khan said his country always supported Azerbaijan on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan celebrates the annual day to mark the events when their national leader, Heydar Aliyev, got elected as chairman of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan in 1993, and succeeded in preventing a civil war in the Eurasian country.

After gaining independence in October 1991, the country faced a power struggle and Armenian aggression.

Ali Fikrat Oglu Alizada, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Pakistan, thanked the government and people of Pakistan for their support during the second war against Armenia. “We are thankful to our fraternal country Pakistan and its nation which always stood by Azerbaijan,” he said.

The Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

New clashes erupted on Sept. 27, 2020, and ended with a Russia-brokered cease-fire on Nov. 10, 2020.

Azerbaijan liberated several strategic cities and nearly 300 of its settlements and villages from Armenian occupation during this time.

A joint Turkish-Russian center was established to monitor the truce. Russian peacekeeping troops have also been deployed in the region.

The cease-fire, seen as a victory for Azerbaijan, led to calls for Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation over his handling of the conflict. He stepped down in April, paving the way for a snap election on June 20, and is still the acting premier.

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