Morningstar Denounces Azeri Press Reports

US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar

US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar has denounced the Azeri state-run media for distorting his comments and alleging that he praised Azerbaijan’s democratic developments, reported James Morrison in The Washington Times’ Embassy Row column on Sunday.

After visiting Nakhichevan and not being allowed to visit Djulfa, the Azeri state media attributed comments to Morningstar where he praised democratic development in Azerbaijan.

In fact, Morrison reported that the US Embassy in Baku “issued a blunt statement last week, accusing state media of distorting reports on Mr. Morningstar’s visit to the Nakhchivan [sic] region on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.”

“The ambassador did not make such comments to anyone, and any reports claiming that he did so are not true,” the embassy said of state media coverage that said he praised the progress of democracy during his trip to Nakhchivan, reported Morrison.

According to the Embassy Row report, the embassy said that contrary to state media, Mr. Morningstar used the visit to highlight the poor quality of democracy and human rights in Nakhchivan and made a point of meeting with human rights activist Malahat Nasibova, the embassy said.

“Ambassador Morningstar met with a wide range of leading governmental and nongovernmental figures during his visit, including human rights activist Malahat Nasibova, whose office he visited in a show of support, and whose important work he praised during his public comments. Ambassador Morningstar also called publicly and privately for an open dialogue between local authorities and human rights defenders such as Ms. Nasibova,” the embassy said.

Read the entire Embassy Row article.

In a US Embassy statement on November 5, Morningstar stated that, when he was recently in Nakhchivan, he “discussed at length with local authorities one such site in Julfa, where, according to evidence from credible sources, an ancient Armenian cemetery was desecrated or destroyed. I regret that the authorities, citing security reasons, made it impossible for me to visit the site and personally see what is there.”

“Ambassador Morningstar cannot take no for an answer,” said Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian at the time. “He can either keep knocking on the Ilham Aliyev’s door until this baseless ban is lifted, or simply travel to the site of the Djulfa cemetery on his own. Either way, it’s clear that, as Americans, we should neither sell arms to an Azerbaijani military that destroys cemeteries, nor send any aid to a government in Baku that blocks U.S. ambassadors from visiting sites of peace-time cultural desecration.”


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  1. GB said:

    Finally Ambassador Morningstar, found out, that Caspian sea oily caviar is a health hazard for him!!

    • Armanen said:

      No, he has not. Do not fool yourself. The US prefers azerbaijan due to its oil and gas, it sees Armenia as a geopolitical nuisance.

  2. Kevork said:

    Has Morningstar been out to lunch? Just reading Azeri “news” sources makes one realize the pathetic state Azerbaijan is in. I don’t think the country has a news agency actually, only anti-Armenian propaganda outlets – the problem being they fail at their ridiculous propaganda miserably. They don’t even try to make sense, they are just happy to put out any anti-Armenian statement per day, and that is their news.

    Azeri “news” goes something like this: “while the Armenians are illegally occupying historic Azerbaijani lands, the weather was mildly sunny today. Preseident Aliyev had a meeting with British Petroleum executives, while not forgetting that Armenia is of no value. Azerbaijani boxers went to Yerevan, which is part of the ancient Azerbaijani empire’s Erivan Khanate”… etc etc etc

    • Hay said:

      Thanks for the laugh Kevork. I get my daily fix of comedy by visiting Azeri news sites.

    • basil said:

      Give the people what they – apparently – want and need. What does this say about the people? Not so hard to figure out.

  3. Alex Postallian said:

    What I dont understand is you gotta be kind of dumb to patronize a little dirty sewer,and when the snake bites,its still a snake,and our government leaders,gotta it coming..With or without the oil,it still is a SEWER.