Aliyev Vows to ‘Fight’ Armenian Diaspora

BAKU (Agence France Presse)–Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev announced Tuesday a campaign to counter the influence of the Armenian Diaspora. Aliyev said his oil-rich ex-Soviet republic was opening embassies and consulates in parts of the world where the Armenian Diaspora was especially influential. "It’s no secret that California is a state with a large Armenian population. We opened a consulate general (in Los Angeles) to be there and to fight the Armenian lobby," Aliyev said in an interview with Arabic network Al-Jazeera, a transcript of which was published by Azerbaijan’s state news agency Azertaj. Aliyev said his country planned to open an embassy in Argentina, where the Armenian lobby "is strongest among Latin American nations."One might ask, ‘Why open an embassy in a country with which we have no serious links.’ But we’re opening an embassy to fight the Armenian lobby on its own turf," Aliyev said. Aliyev said Azerbaijan’s new oil wealth gave it a chance to outweigh ethnic-Armenia’s’ influence abroad. "What is attractive about Armenia…? Only the fact that it has a rich Diaspora that influences the policies of various countries," Aliyev said. "Azerbaijan is a country that will supply Europe and world markets with energy resources. Imagine Azerbaijan on one side of the scale and Armenia on the other."


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