Conditions in Azerbaijan ‘Worst Ever,’ Says Former Ambassador

Former U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Kauzlarich

BAKU—“I have been engaged in U.S. – Azerbaijani relations since 1992 and I haven’t seen a situation worse than the one that currently exists in Azerbaijan,” former U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Kauzlarich (1994-1997) said when answering questions from the Azerbaijani news agency Turan.

Richard Kauzlarich expressed serious concerns about the political situation in Azerbaijan, pointing to new facts on persecutions of journalists and political activists. Meanwhile, dozens of American diplomats, congressmen and other officials are going to participate in a conference called “Vision for the Future” held in Washington on April 29-30. Some observers believe that this is a PR event sponsored by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), Turan reports.

According to Kauzlarich, the American Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, James Warlick, is being criticized in Azerbaijan, while U.S. Congressmen are accused of espionage. At the same time, the Azerbaijani authorities are financing an Azerbaijani-American conference to be held in Washington “to support the U.S.-Azerbaijan strategic partnership.”

Referring to the arrest of journalist Rauf Mirkadirov in Azerbaijan, Kauzlarich said the arrest of this prominent independent journalist after his forced deportation from Turkey, raised serious concerns among human rights groups all around the World.
Rauf Mirkadirov’s arrest for Kauzlarich “is the last link in the downstream actions of Aliyev’s regime aimed to suppress political dissidence, freedom of media and any attempts to engage in positive contacts between Armenians and Azerbaijanis.”

“The regime is not afraid of Russia or Iran but of its own citizens … [The Azerbaijani authorities] even prohibit hotels to host events organized by NGOs that criticize the regime. This is all further proof that the regime doesn’t care about foreign reactions to the growing suppression of the Azerbaijani people,” Kauzlarich emphasized.

As Turan notes, it is expected that at the upcoming U.S –Azerbaijani conference, six key U.S. Senators and the Deputy Assistant of the Secretary of State for Energy Diplomacy will make speeches at the special session on “Eurasian Energy Corridor.” At the same time, 20 other congressmen will discuss the U.S.-Azerbaijani strategic partnership in the Caspian region.

U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar and the deputy assistant of the Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas, along with several American scholars and an Azerbaijani member of parliament will make speeches at a panel discussion titled, “Azerbaijan, A Reliable Friend at the Most Important Global Crossroads.” None of those discussions are dedicated to the political situation in Azerbaijan.

Recently, the embassy of Azerbaijan has hired former member of Massachusetts’ House of Representatives Bill Delahunt to work on the organization of strategy and relations with the legislators, on relations with the U.S. government, communication with U.S. officials, and, perhaps, also with the American mass media, Turan reports.

Rauf Mirkadirov, a columnist for the Azerbaijani newspaper “Zerkalo,” was arrested on April 18 in Ankara on charges of expiration of documents. On April 19, Mirkadirov was deported to Azerbaijan, where he was immediately arrested and put in custody by the MNS on suspicion of treason. On April 21, the court in Baku sanctioned his arrest for three months. Mirkadirov is accused of cooperating with special services of Armenia; specifically he is accused of transferring state secrets, including information about the deployment of Azerbaijani armed forces to Armenia during 2008-2009.


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  1. EDDY said:

    Armenian Diaspora should try to unmask so called “Azerbaijani Diaspora” which is being used as a h fifth column by officials in Baku for different (PR) proposes

    The American Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, James Warlick, should be aware of the fact that there is no such “Azerbaijani Diaspora or community”.What is called by officials in Baku as “”Azerbaijani Diaspora” is a PR campaign. A big portion of so called “Azerbaijani Community”: are people from Iran , Officials in Baku and some ultra Azerbaijani nationalists and Students on pay roll of Azerbaijani President foundation are abusing Karabakh for different goals!

    • Bobby Cole said:

      Your own people are admitting how shitty Azerbaijan is, just accept the fact it is your own people speaking the truth and not “Armenians masked as Azerbaijanis”. Soon your oil will run out and all the military your country bought will be outdated; Azerbaijan won’t be able to have the money to keep them up to date. I suggest your country goes to war now before it is too late; but a little warning, Armenia might take up most of so called Azerbaijani land if your country ever does decide to go to war.

  2. Vindicated Man said:

    They are “worst than ever”, which is making their paid “friends” sad. It’s good Baku doesn’t understand that true friendship cannot be a commodity. It’s the principles of honesty that will win when their oil ends.

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  6. Alex Postallian said:

    The reason the azerbaturk(little bastard brother of jerky turkey) succeed,is that the oil companys,get to our crooked politions,back pocket..The greatest oil man,Calouste Gulbenkian,said oil is a slippery business,a lot of crooks…

  7. Jack Kalpakian said:

    Why is he complaining? The US Department of State helped fill Aliyev’s coffers by bypassing congress and supporting the BTC pipeline. He has only his own branch of the government to blame.