US Envoy Calls On Aliev to Tackle Rampant Corruption

BAKU (Armenpress)–An Azerbaijani newspaper ‘Azadliq’ reported on October 26 that Azerbaijani president Aliev was taken aback with US ambassador to Azerbaijan–Ross Wilson’s criticisms of his government.

The ambassador said that corruption and the obstacles created for private structures were the main reasons for poverty in Azerbaijan; he said to journalists–"I call on you to speed up the struggle against corruption–continue privatization and tackle corrupt officials who exploit state property without any controls."

Ambassador Wilson is known for his frank statemen’s about corruption in the country.

"He had told an event in Baku a few months ago that corruption had become part of normal life in Azerbaijan," the daily wrote.

"This is indicative of the fact that the West–which is interested in the establishment of a democratic society–and the implementation of reforms that meet the requiremen’s of a market economy in Azerbaijan–no longer trusts the promises that Aliev makes during closed door meetings," the daily stated–adding that Aliev will apparently hear harsh statemen’s from the West more frequently from now on–especially in the run up to the 2003 presidential elections.

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