US-Azerbaijan partnership issues
By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, April 21The US-Azeri partnership is currently at a very controversial stage. Of the three South Caucasus countries' Presidents only Ilham Aliev of Azerbaijan was not invited to the Washington Nuclear Security Summit. Neither side is officially commenting on this.
Azeri Foreign Minister Eldar Mammadyarov has stated that Azerbaijan did not participate in the summit because it does not possess nuclear weapons. However commentators say that neither Armenia nor Georgia have nuclear weapons either but they were invited. The Turkish Foreign Minister expressed his dissatisfaction that the Azeri President had not been invited but in response the US insisted that Turkey address Turkish-Armenian relations and the Karabakh problem as separate issues. Moreover the US several times highlighted some discrepancies in the Azeri record on human rights and the totalitarian nature of the regime in the country.
Recently head of the Public and Political Relations Department of the Azeri Presidentís administration Ali Hasanov stated that Azerbaijan might reconsider its policy towards the USA as the latter does not treat Azerbaijan as the strategic partner it claims it is. In an interview with Reuters he stated that Washington should first of all facilitate the settlement of the Karabakh conflict and not only try to resolve economic problems. Ali Hasanov did not specify what kind of steps Azerbaijan would take if it reconsidered its bilateral relations with the USA but the US media is also speculating about how relations might develop from here.