ANCA Open Letter to State Legislators on Azeri Dictator Ilham Aliyev

ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian


ANCA Open Letter To State Legislators About Azerbaijan

Take a Stand against Foreign Interference in American Civic Life by Corrupt Azerbaijani Dictator Ilham Aliyev

Dear U.S. State Legislator:

I am writing to alert you that Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan (an oil-rich and corrupt one-family dictatorship), is pressuring state legislatures across our country into joining his angry and increasingly violent attacks upon his Christian Armenian neighbors.

Azerbaijan has been run by the Aliyev family for the better part of the past half century. Its current President, the son of a KGB general, has become a billionaire on a civil service salary and is often listed as the single most undemocratic leader in the world. His personal wealth and his government’s corruption were both highlighted in this CNBC progam: “The Aliyev Family of Azerbaijan.”

President Aliyev is best known around the world for the scandal surrounding his pardon and promotion of a convicted axe-murderer, after this confessed killer happily admitted to hacking to death an Armenian student (while he slept) during a NATO peace program in Hungary. This shameful act was sharply condemned by President Obama. Azerbaijan’s human rights record, among the worst in the world, is documented annually in our State Department’s human rights reports. This one-page provides basic background about his record as President.

It is truly a tribute to our great American democratic tradition that even a regime as flagrantly corrupt as Ilham Aliyev’s is allowed to operate freely within our open society. But that does not mean that American citizens need to remain silent in the face of meddling by foreign leaders who neither respect our rights nor share our values – especially when they try to export their intolerance to our shores.

It would risk public embarrassment for any state legislature to be perceived, in any manner, as somehow serving the foreign interests of a corrupt dictator. The Washington Post and Politico, among other media outlets, have reported extensively about scandalous charges of Azerbaijani influence over U.S. policymakers – past and present. In fact, a previous Presidential nominee for Ambassador to Azerbaijan was blocked by the U.S. Senate due, in large measure, to concerns regarding reports of unacceptable relationships with Azerbaijani officials.

It is in the spirit of our American democracy that I ask you to ensure that this foreign dictator is not allowed to hijack your state legislature in his hateful campaign against the Republic of Armenia and the free people of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.

I respectfully suggest that you tell President Aliyev: “Fix your own democracy, instead of trying to interfere in ours!”

I very much appreciate your consideration of my concerns.

Sincerely,
Aram Suren Hamparian
Executive Director
Armenian National Committee of America

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6 Comments

  1. Aram said:

    As long as Alyev is serving western interests he can hijack the whole world. These warnings will go unneeded in Washington.

    • Armenian said:

      And whose interests are we serving? It’s a shame that even Aliyev has recognized that the West offers more of a promise than Russia does. Of course, the principle difference is that he’s not doing it for the good of his own nation, he’s doing it for himself and to hold onto his authority there. Same thing with Serjhik, except he’s literally sold our future to Russia for the next 30 years so he and his goons can hold on to power. You see, Aliyev and Serjhik are not that different; in fact, they’re actually very, very similar.

      • Harutik said:

        Washington’s cyber-warriors are everywhere these days. Please save us your nonsense about the West and Democracy. Even the most ignorant ones in our society are beginning to see the political West as a threat to humanity. God bless Russia. God bless Armenia. And may God help us preserve Russo-Armenian relations against all enemies both foreign and domestic.

  2. Ohannes Boghossian said:

    Hello any on home when Armenian’s will weak up the planet eart runs by OIL
    samthing we don’t have

  3. bedodem said:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/european-armenian-federation-for-justice-and-democracy-eafjd/an-open-letter-to-the-high-representative-of-the-eu-for-foreign-affairs-security/808319329185354

    An Open Letter to the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy, Vice-President of the EU
    7 February 2014 at 14:01
    Brussels, February 7, 2014

    To: the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy,
    Vice-President of the European Commission,
    Her Excellency, Lady Catherine Ashton

    Your Excellency,

    Having read in the news, that the EU has a solution for solving the Ukrainian crisis by means of financial offer, as the source mentions (“Ashton off to Kiev with new financial offer”, http://euobserver.com/foreign/122996), outlined to EU ambassadors in the Political and Security Committee, in Brussels, on February 3rd, 2014, the financial assistance will come from a group of donor countries, and seeing Azerbaijan among them, it’s rather astonishing. It is disappointing seeing Azerbaijan listed in the same rank as Norway, Japan, the USA and the EU. No matter how novel a cause is to try and diffuse the tension in Ukraine – and your role as mediator is highly appreciated – but having Azerbaijan in the group of donors to support the democratic process in Ukraine is highly controversial, to say the least.

    The EU known for its strict attachment to Human Rights and Democratic values, should not allow a dictatorship be a donor and establish democracy in another country.

    Welcoming the struggle of the people of Ukraine for Democracy, which the EU intends to support with a financial offer as well, at least the money should come from a group of democratic countries – and not oppressive regimes, like Azerbaijan. Posing the question about the moral dimensions of such a choice should not be surprising for you.
    Azerbaijan has definitely trying to reach new levels of “caviar diplomacy”, by becoming a donor country for its wider neighbourhood – rather than importing democracy, it is selling democracy to others.

    While the EU is discussing sanctions for the Ukrainian governing elite, at the same time is prepared to back up the transition of the country towards democracy with money from another corrupt elite – that of Azerbaijan.

    It’s worth to check once again, the reports of international organizations such as Freedom House (http://www.freedomhouse.org/country/azerbaijan#.UvJd1CyYZMs), Transparency International (http://www.transparency.org/country#AZE) to remember the state of affairs of Azerbaijan. You must be fully aware of last year’s election scandal when the results of voting were made public before the voting itself – not to mention the re-election of Ilham Aliyev by 84% of the vote and OSCE/ODIHR’s report (http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/106901). The Statement of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on NGO law amendments in Azerbaijan (http://www.eap-csf.eu/en/news-events/news/statement-of-eastern-partnership-civil-society-forum-on-ngo-law-amendments-in-azerbaijan/) is a good indication of the regime’s oppressive approach to its own citizens – let alone giving voice and support to the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians on Euromaidan square in Kiev, against their government.

    The least the EU can do to help Ukraine in her transition, is to keep away from Azerbaijani caviar diplomacy and financial support.

    Recalling the abovementioned, we hope that the EU will not turn away from its Democratic values and will take its decisions with precaution to cooperate with third countries in transition.

    Kaspar Karampetian,
    President

    European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy

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