Bryza’s Collusion with Baku Threatens Regional Stability

US Ambassador to Baku, Matthew Bryza

BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN

Matthew Bryza’s collusion with the Baku government took center stage this week with an announcement by the newly-minted envoy, which seemed to reek of official Azeri propaganda aimed at hindering the already-fragile Karabakh peace process.

Before OSCE mediators could assess the situation, Bryza took the podium to say he was “saddened” after Azeri officials alleged that Karabakh snipers killed a nine-year-old boy at the line of contact.

The use of such misinformation by Azerbaijan has been the backbone of its efforts to ramp up its military rhetoric and play “victim” in front of the international community.

Bryza lent his voice to this war-mongering policy by saying that “the incident, once again shows that a peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict has no alternative,” signaling that he has taken the Azeri authorities at their word.

“Together with colleagues from Washington and friends, we are looking for ways to reduce the hatred between the conflicting sides. We believe that the elimination of hatred can be a basis for resolving the conflict peacefully,” said Bryza in capping off his remarks on the Azeri allegations.

It is exactly this type of selective condemnation that serves as a foundation for ongoing concerns of Bryza’s bias toward his Azerbaijani hosts. 

On Friday, a Karabakh soldier was killed hours after an International Committee of the Red Cross-monitored prisoner exchange mission ended and a day before the new OSCE Chairman in Office was to hold talks on the conflict with Armenian and Azeri leaders. Will Bryza call out Azerbaijan for its continued ceasefire violations?

Just this week, Aliyev and his cohorts threatened to shoot down civilian planes travelling to Karabakh. Last week, Turkey pledged military support to Azerbaijan in the wake of another Karabakh war. And Matt Bryza’s response? Silence.

If he were truly working to end “hatred,” he would condemn all threats of violence and attacks equally as they occur, as opposed to cherry-picking an unverified incident report that fits his host country’s public relations agenda.  Or, he should let the real diplomats tasked with mediating the Karabakh conflict to initiate, execute and administer the proper steps in addressing official Baku’s vile accusations.

This glaring retreat from diplomatic norms highlights the incompetence of this particular US envoy and further calls into question the Obama Administration’s ability to formulate and conduct effective foreign policy.

Several weeks ago, in announcing his priorities as ambassador, Bryza placed his involvement in the resolution of the Karabakh conflict at the beginning of that list, immediately followed by his pledge to encourage international investment in Azerbaijan.

The protracted Karabakh conflict resolution process has seen numerous players throughout its almost two-decade old history. But one thing that has remained constant has been that ambassadors of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries have not been directly involved in the peace process, nor have they ever gone to bat for this or that party to the conflict.

With his actions, he is going out of his way to pledge allegiance not to the country he is serving but to the government that is playing host to him.

But this in not the first time that Bryza has turned a blind eye to the realities of the region and the country in which he is serving.

While attending the opening of a new synagogue in Baku, Bryza said “Azerbaijan is well-known for its ethnic and religious tolerance.”

Of course, this was the bone of contention during his Senate confirmation hearings, where senators Barbara Boxer and Robert Menendez, among others, questioned his delayed and insufficient response to the Azeri desecration and destruction of historical Armenian monuments in Nakhichevan.
 
He also forgot the systematic pogroms initiated by the Azeri government against Armenians, which began in Sumgait and continued on to Kirovabad, Baku and Shahoumian, as a result of which more than 300,000 Armenians were driven out of Azerbaijan.

And what of the Azeris using centuries old Armenian churches as barns, and in the case of the St. Ghazanchetsots Church in Shoushi, which was being used as a military depot and a firing point from where Azeris opened fire on Armenian civilians in Stepanakert at the height of the Karabakh war. Are these the actions of a government “well-known for its ethnic and religious tolerance,” as Bryza would have us believe?

Bryza’s hasty comments on an incident that is still being investigated is more than a departure from the norm, it is a blatant violation of diplomatic protocols. His statements claiming Azerbaijan is tolerant of its ethnic and religious minorities shows a fundamental misunderstanding of Azerbaijan’s treatment of its Armenian minority—perhaps one reason why he was ineffective in his previous role as OSCE mediator of the conflict.

Since President Obama, who callously appointed Bryza while Congress was in recess, has opted to re-nominate him for the post, senators on both sides of the aisle must question his ability to best represent US interests abroad and diligently probe his entrenched ties with the Aliyev administration.

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28 Comments

  1. ed said:

    Bryza has engaged US government in a Nazi like anti Armenian propaganda!

    What could Armenian Diaspora do without missing the pint that the main enemy of Armenia nation is Turkey, because the even boss of Bryza is sitting not in Washington but in Ankara (Bryza and his Turkish borne wife both are in pay roll of Turkish government!) !

  2. Alex Postallian said:

    A jew,married to a turk.You could never oust them.She was double dipping,everybody blinked in Washington.WE know his shoddy background. The Armenians should get more people in politics,like the jews.Then you will have clout.Clean up the old country,too many Russian influenced politicos.I always admired Kirk Kerkorian.He donated 200 million to UCLA.,many Armenians critizicised him.He has given millions and millions to Armenia in the past.He is an American too.I think he believes the politicians would get their hands on it instead the people in NEED.He also is a very smart guy,with a lot of saavy.

  3. truth said:

    US senate should be made aware of the fatc that Matthew Bryza’s is indeed in payroll of a foreign government !

    How comes that Armenian government doesn’t condom biased statements made by US ambassador to Baku?

    Why is Armenian side is not going to call US ambassador to Yervern for consolation and had her a protest not?!

    Serzh Sarkisian´s government and his foreign minister are humiliating Armenia and Armenian nation!

  4. truth said:

    cirrection:

    US senate should be made aware of the fact that Matthew Bryza’s is indeed in payroll of a foreign government !

    How comes that Armenian government doesn’t condom biased statements made by US ambassador to Baku?

    Why is Armenian side is not going to call US ambassador to Yervern for consolation and hand her a protest not?!

    Serzh Sarkisian´s government and his foreign minister are humiliating Armenia and Armenian nation!

    • parsik said:

      good post
      some US senators have always been on payroll of foreign goverments and the more descent and ethical ones have been on payroll of American companies representing their interest!

      Armenian government never condamn anything, it is called hayavari politics!

      Armenian side only calls US ambassador to official banquets and donation parties!

      only concern of Armenian government right now is stay on power as long as possible to maintain political stability in small republic to buy and collect as many Bentlies they can afford!

  5. sis said:

    Matthew Bryza , US ambassador to Baku is cynical he is drawing Armenia/NKR and Azerbaijan into a war, even though he use in the term of“ peace” in his statements!
    It seems Matthew Bryza like to convince Baku officials to repeat the “Georgian war” but with different results!

  6. Berge Jololian said:

    It is not Bryza only that is the problem, but rather the entire policy of the hostile-US-State-Department.

    The failed-US-State-Department’s Embassy in Yerevan is running some serious operation out of Yerevan – aimed at destabilizing Armenia out of Russia’s sphere of influence, and force Armenia to capitulate to Turkey’s demands. The objective is to use Armenia as a transit state for multiple energy pipelines en route to the Caspian Basin and Central Asia’s oil & gas fields.

    The US State Department and its envoy in Yerevan Marie Yovanovitch are a serious threat to Armenia’s national security.

    • manooshag said:

      Russia, Iran and China are nations which are aiding the fledgling Armenia… in opposition to the anti USA State Department and the White House, et al. Manooshag

  7. Tsait said:

    Obama, shmobama. An ineffective representative of the establishment. Change we thought he’d bring, instead has turned to being a very effective anti-Armenian president.

    By the way, has anybody seen his whatever-advisor Samantha Power? I guess she has no face to show to Armenians. I wonder if she’s going to send another youtube message go get Armenian votes in 2012.

  8. Samuel said:

    The reason Aliyev use child soldier & send them frontline for fight, he thinks they are too smaLL & will be able
    hide & protect themselves from incoming fire.Aliyev knows well how to panik armenian authorities, if these child soldiers become victim, he simply declare armenian infidel soldiers killed a chlid, confuse armenian
    authorities watch & laugh at them. Aliyev himselfe will never come tofrontline, his military advisores warnd him it is realy dangerous beacuse his nose is too big it is visible from miles away where & how he want to hide it, he undersands this unimaginable problem, if he commit such a grave mistake,his nose will be pinpointed & blown away , also he is nervus go paradise & see 72 virgin men waiting for him.
    For more detailed info, go to YOU TUBE on the addressbar type “Achmet the dead terrorist” clik & watch
    interviews of Jeff Dunham with Achmet Turk Terrorist.

  9. "Graves in honor of Heydar Aliyev" said:

    The Honorable US Ambassador to Azerbaijan is using a diplomatic language and speaking of “peace” but in reality he encourages the criminal regime in Baku to start a new war and aggression against NKR! Beside this Ambassador to Azerbaijan is making USA a party to the ongoing Nazi like Azerbaijani anti Armenian propaganda.

    Unfortunately, it seems that neither the criminal regime in Baku nor the US Ambassador in Baku know what war in reality means ! !

    “Graves in honor of Heydar Aliyev”

    http://times.am/2011/01/20/graves-in-honor-of-heydar-aliyev/

    Peace for NKR!

  10. manooshag said:

    A Bryza’s return via our current president speaks loudly, sadly and too, that the USA State Department has not any better to represent our republic to the world. Evans, seems to have been amongst best and last. Sadly. Are there not any patriots seeking office in USA government? Only those such as a turkey and the azeris – both muslims and both Genocide perpetrators… Shades of Sibel Edmonds… gagged by USA government agencies when she told the truths – AND SHE WAS THEN GAGGED to please the turks – whom she had proven to be infiltrators against our American nation whilst turkeys were working in OUR government offices – too, whilst claiming to be “best ally of the USA” – when in reality (mistakenly) our USA WAS THE BEST ALLY OF A TURKEY. Lately, a turkey has infiltrated and destroyed the Woodrow Wilson’s memorial, too, the Smithsonian Museum in WASHINGTON DC!! AND none speak up… neither the USA government, the White House, neither the so-called American (?)-owned media. Wake up America! Imagine! a turkey allowing any infiltration/desecration of their Genocide perpetrator heroes sites?? American lobbyists, in employ of a turkey (whose stance perpetrates and continues the ongoing cycle of Genocides) lobbyists handsomely paid by a turkey!! Thus, Genocides continue while the American former congressmen/lobbyists work for Genocide perpetrators as they ignore innocents slaughtered raped, tortured and worse – but Genocides must exist – else how shall these lobbyists earn their livelihood – earnings for them, via deaths/tortures/rapes by Genocide perpetrators, Manooshag

  11. Robert said:

    The US Senate should be reminded of the $50M loan from the US to Armenia in 1919, which to this day has NEVER been repaid. With interest, the total due is one heck of a figure!! Well Armenia, when can the US taxpayer see their money? Pay up before you all start whining about other things!

    • parsik said:

      Mr Robert, I should remind you your American government has been practicing lots of gobbling down other nations taxpayments also, the latest one I could recall was freezing Iranian assets and deposits up to some say 2 billion dollars back in 1979 after overthrow of shah, I believe that was Iranians taxpayers money, now you calculate with interest how much is it today if you ever intending to pay back which I doubt it very much, isn’t that one of the main reasons you are in business of policing the world, invading countries, destablizing regions and overthrowing goverments?

      so keep your loans for your homeless and needy and leave the rest of the world alone

    • Halo said:

      Dear Robertoglu, Would you like to deduct that amount from the trillions upon trillions of dollars the US and Turkey owe Armenia for occupying Western Armenia for 100 years and committing the genocide which prevented Armenians from realizing income because they had no chance to live??

      After this we can figure out what the destruction of an ancient culture is worth as well.

    • Aram said:

      You seem to forget that Armenians are also US tax payers, some of the biggest ones actually. You have any idea how much money the US gives (not loans) to Turkey annually? You’d cringe.

    • Allen said:

      Well, when reminding the US about the loan you mentioned, don’t forget to remind the 1920 Treaty of Sevres, where President Woodrow Wilson assumed the responsibility and drew the boundaries of Armenian Republic and Turkey, and according to his map Armenia was 3 times larger than its current size. Shall we say that Turkey is occupying the Armenian territories unlawfully (which it is, but for the sake of argument this is one particular and blatant example)? When is Armenian nation going to see the terms of this treaty, where the US had a major role and was in the negotiating front, executed?

  12. Pauline said:

    It does not surprise me. I did not vote for Obama. And I can’t but help remembering that we were so
    confident that Samantha Power guaranteed that Obama would use the G word.

    By the way, where IS our little friend Samantha these days since she joined the elite and
    forgot all about the Armenian genocide?

  13. mike said:

    Hey Robert, since Israel gets $3 billion/year (180 billion for the last 60years) compared to Armenia’s $50 million, you better think again and see who is the worlds bigest blood sucker.

  14. eddy said:

    @Robert
    US should be reminded first off all about THE ILLEGAL use of Armenian land by US and Pentagon which is still occupied by Turkey (including Armenian land build for military airports) and being differently rented by Turkey to US and US firms

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  16. Rufat Ahmadzada said:

    Bryza is a simple merchant between Baku and Washington/ But those commercial relations do not include any regional compononent and do not consider any progress in Karabakh conflict. He came to suck more dollars for his gov/ Alievs worry much more for their power than Karabakh. Don worry hayks, we’ll solve the problem by war. Get ready!

    • Aram said:

      Rufat Ahmadzada, this is not the forum to tell us what you are, go tell Bryza. Every Armenian knows that Turks cannot be trusted, it is like living next to a wolf, we know that war what it is in your minds and blood is what you need to survive. But no this time is different……….. You will be surprised.

  17. Truth said:

    Ambassador Bryza has finally to make a decision: Is he the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan or the Azerbaijani Ambassador to US or teh advicer to Turkish Erdogan?

    Two or three days after did Azerbaijani published the lie about killed child and accusing of Armenian side ( with blessing of “US” Ambassador Bryza … ) – Azerbaijani propaganda started delivering books about killed child – it seems they have written the books in advance ( we hear orchestrated Azerbaijani protest and so on ..Like: „Azerbaijani embassy to Tajikistan disseminates booklets on Azeri child killed by Armenian sniper” )

    It seems Azerbaijani authorities are looking for alibis /justification and preparing the world community to use force against Armenian civilians –

  18. manooshag said:

    Downfall signs of the USA republic begins… as before the world it is exemplified by the inclusion of a Bryza as Ambassador – AGAIN. A choice by our president – was there none others in the USA State Department – OR was this choice another effort to placate muslim Turkey by USA leaderships. Actually, when, in comparison, our own Ambassador Evans who spoke the truths of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation was then relieved from his post. but yet, in comparison, how about some of the ineptness and misdirections of a Bryza – appear to be tolerated – an embarassment before the world!
    Too, what of the Turkish abuse/desecration of our own American President Woodrow Wilson memorial and the Smithsonian Museum – both in our capital city of Washington DC. Too, what of the Turkish abuse causing ‘gagging’ of Sibel Edmonds who exposed actions of Turks within our government offices – against USA government. Not a word from the USA State Department, the White House, American (?) media… all protecting a Turkey. Why? Manooshag

  19. manooshag said:

    Obama’s TV speech Monday night, explains why USA considered actions against Libyan’s Mubarak…
    Why didn’t Obama take any such actions against the Sudanese (Turkey’s ally) for their Genocide of
    the Darfurians? Manooshag

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