Official Baku distances from a confrontation with the United States
The first days of the New Year have brought new motives in the tense relations between the US and Azerbaijan. The aggressive reaction of official Baku to the initiative of the US Congress "The act of democracy in Azerbaijan 2015" on the application of sanctions against Azerbaijani officials for human rights violations began to change after the statement of Novruz Mamedov, the Head of the Foreign Department of the Administration of President on the invitation of President Ilham Aliyev to nuclear security summit in Washington. Novruzov’s statement appeared in the micro blog in Twitter on 6 January after rumors in the media and social networks that Aliyev has not been invited to the summit. Novruzov stressed that the invitation was sent personally by the President Obama on 3 December.
The fact that official Baku published an invitation a month later shows that Aliyev's administration has made an evolution of views from hostile opposition to a constructive dialogue after the well-known initiative of Congressmen. The statements of various pro-government figures such as MP Zahid Oruj testifies it, as well as the changed tone of pro-government media, which is now trying to convince the public that the personal attitude of the US president to the president of Azerbaijan is quite favorable.
Public recognition of the invitation to non-nuclear summit also means that until March 31 official Baku will try to resolve a number of pressing issues irritating overseas counters, and especially the current topic of political prisoners, the number of which has reached 100 civil society activists. President Aliyev cannot go to Washington with empty hands and promises; otherwise, he should take part in the summit. However, ignoring the invitation under the current crisis conditions is unlikely. The loss of support from the US, which was observed since the period of Azerbaijan’s independence, in the words of David Kramer, director of the Washington McCain Institute , may leave the country alone with regional neighbors, the relations with which cannot be called bright: the war with Armenia, tense relations with the clerical Shiite Iran, tensions with Russia, which in the mouth of President Vladimir Putin make a complaint to the official Baku's on support of hostile external initiatives.
Of course, in this trio of problematic regional players the attention deserves Russia, whose actions are unpredictable especially under the periods of economic crisis. Its militant policy towards Ukraine, Syria, and Turkey testifies it. And at such times nearest neighbors in the CIS suffer, what can be understood from the troubled notes of the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and others during the active phase of the Ukrainian cris
|President Aliyev, commenting on the situation, pointed out that the crisis is the result of deliberate US policy toward Russia. Thus, he acknowledged that the key to the resolution of problems caused by the fall in oil prices, is in Washington, not in Moscow.|
It is clear that the US carefully keeps track of maneuvers of the Azerbaijani diplomacy in terms of sanctions and threats, and hint on activation of the classical instruments of influence in the case of delaying settlement of the problematic issues identified in December initiative of US congressmen. Immediately after the New Year in the US Congress held closed hearings on Karabakh and called for the acceleration of the conflict settlement process. The reaction of the Armenian side was panic, but official Baku did not comment on the hearing. The only response that came in this period was the publication by Novruz Mamedov the invitation to President Aliyev to a non-nuclear summit.
But the main factor that will push Baku to reforms and addressing human rights issues, as well as to determine the Azerbaijani-American relations, is the financial and economic crisis in Azerbaijan. President Aliyev, commenting on the situation, pointed out that the crisis is the result of deliberate US policy toward Russia. Thus, he acknowledged that the key to the resolution of problems caused by the fall in oil prices, is in Washington, not in Moscow.
Turan Analytical Service
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