US ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar gave an interview touching upon a number of geopolitical and political issues. Mr. Ambassador voiced some ideas related to Azerbaijan. The response was not long in coming from different levels. However, we cannot call what Mornigstar said as objective. The other way around, he seems to overstep his authority on some points. Is this a coincidence or the process, which got persistent in diplomacy of some western countries? What intentions does such a case suggest amidst contradictory and complex processes going on in some regions of the world?
Diplomacy and reality: when objectivity is lost
Sometimes, diplomats overstep their authority. They become so much carried away with advocating interests of their own country or any other circle that they face difficulties in feeling responsibility that lies with them. It is not a secret that ideas voiced by ambassadors of some foreign countries were seen in this aspect. Unfortunately, this process is going on.
In his interview to the Azadlyg Radio US ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar seems to once more prove it and overstep his authority as an ambassador. Deputy Head of the presidential administration, chief of the department of international relations Novruz Mammadov took a concrete stand on this issue. Mammadov said the ambassador used some phrases in his interview that can be regarded as interference into domestic affairs of Azerbaijan.
Mammadov underlined, “It is unacceptable for Azerbaijan. It violates requirement of the Vienna Convention. The tone of the interview is wrong. The ambassador may have his own say but may not teach us. Azerbaijan is the country pursuing an independent policy. We do not accept the tone the US ambassador used in his interview” (see: “Səfir bizə dərs keçə bilməz” – Novruz Məmmədovun Morninqstara cavabı / “Azadliq.org”, 17 may 2014)
The response of the Foreign Ministry was also quick. The press-service of the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan said, “The attempts of interference into domestic affairs or directing the country is unacceptable for Azerbaijan” (see: Xarici İşlər Nazirliyindən Morninqstara cavab gəldi / “Gün.az”, 19 may 2014)
The point is that the US ambassador to Azerbaijan criticized the country on some issues without providing concrete arguments and using vague logic. In addition, he voiced some ideas virtually confronting Azerbaijan with some neighbors (see: R.Morningstar: “Azərbaycanın müstəqilliyinin arxasında ABŞ və Avropadan başqa kim dayanacaq?” / “Azadliq.org”, 16 may 2014). It is not the stance of Baku of course. If debates revolved around one of diplomats working in Baku, there must be a respective response.
Morningstar said in his interview that there is no force behind Azerbaijan’s independence other than USA and Europe. It can be regarded as the attempt to set our country at loggerheads with such neighbors as Russia and Iran. Novruz Mammadov expressed his opinion on this (see: Посол США пытается бросить тень на дружественные отношения Азербайджана с Ираном и Россией” / “1news.az”, 17 May 2014).
Azerbaijan has high-level cooperation with the two neighbors. In general, the state and people lie behind real independence. The country relying on any outside forces can not be considered independent in a true sense of the word. Mr. Ambassador seems to mistake Azerbaijan for Armenia. Armenia is the Russia’s “outpost” and everyone acknowledge this. For its part, Azerbaijan is a regional leader, which is capable of ensuring its independence on its own. Baku builds equal relationships based on partnership with the USA, Europe, Russia, Iran, Turkey and other states. Ambassador Morningstar who worked closely with Azerbaijan should have known this better. Morningstar has cooperated for long time on the Caspian energy security with the Azerbaijani leadership. Armenians even expressed protest at the US congress against his appointment as an ambassador to our country. Morningstar seems to have modified his standpoint as geopolitical situation changed. It is difficult to say how much true it is.
”Maydan syndrome”: who benefits from chaos?
The attempt to draw parallels between the Ukraine developments and Azerbaijan looks pretty much artificial in this aspect. The facts show that “Maydan” movement was realized with the US`s considerable financial assistance (see: Администрация Президента Азербайджана: “Майдан” в Украине – результат политики и финансирования США / “1news.az”, 17 may 2014). Now everyone can see the situation Ukraine found itself in. Why do they want to compare Azerbaijan with Ukraine in this aspect? Does Washington have plans to spark similar processes in Baku? Or it just intends to put pressure on Baku for pursing an independent policy?
We find it necessary to underline ineffectiveness of the co-chairs` mediation to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. USA, France and Russia have stated for 20 years that they try to find a fair solution to the dispute. In reality, the co-chairs including USA did not take any real steps to settle the problem (see: Администрация Президента АР: “США не предприняли никаких шагов для урегулирования нагорно-карабахского конфликта” / “1news.az”, 17 May 2014).
For many years, they have made statements, adopted documents, drawn up resolutions but without undertaking real measures. In some cases, international organizations are quick to respond to the document they adopted in some cases. For example, they bombarded Iraq and Libya. Nevertheless, they have not tried for so many years either to openly acknowledge Armenia as an aggressor or implement the UN resolutions. What is the reason?
Moreover, the ambassador openly states that 7 regions outside the borders Nagorno-Karabakh must be freed.
Then, why have real steps not been taken in this direction so far? They even put obstacles to Azerbaijan to liberate its own lands. They say “the heads of state must sit and come to an agreement”. The Armenian leadership is far from being ready for a constructive dialogue. The practice has already proved this. The official Yerevan behaves like a spoiled child.
Washington is among those stiffening its spirit. For example, America provided a 2 billion worth of assistance to the aggressor. USA spares no efforts to help the Armenian separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh. It officially welcomes them, hold discussions with them and make some promises. Some US States even recognized the illegal “NKR”. Some Armenian analysts use these factors to prove that Azerbaijan is not right.
It is difficult to say how long this injustice will last. Mr. Ambassador says “there is corruption in Azerbaijan” instead of speaking about that. Which country of the world is ideal? Isn’t this problem pressing in the United States? Hasn’t corruption caused a number of problems in the Europe`s developed countries? For example, wasn’t the financial crisis, which hit Europe, sparked by the speculations in the banking system? On top of all, Azerbaijan was developing while Europe was shaken by these processes.
Mr. Ambassador knows it very well. Then, why does he speak this way? First and foremost, Azerbaijan is a leader in the region as a Muslim country. The West wanted Georgia or Armenia to be the leaders. It is impossible to conceal these facts. Washington seems to be indifferent to any other issues but its own geopolitical interests. They can cause commotion around the world to achieve their goals. Under these circumstances, they attempt to direct the regional countries against Russia in order to reduce geopolitical influence of this country. They need to trigger chaos at Russia`s borders.
Ukraine has been already caught in a trap. The scenario for others – Azerbaijan and Central Asian nations – must be prepared. One can feel their goal of weakening every one with a stalling tactics and by causing a rift among many countries. It seems like hegemony is understood only in this meaning across the pond.
They forget one thing that the people of Azerbaijan fully trust the country’s leadership. They back the policy pursued by Baku. The people-government unity is unshakable. For this reason, the Maydan scenario in Azerbaijan is a chimera. The Azerbaijani society accepts the development paradigm only. Any ambassador should not waste energy because it is impossible to make this state and people backtrack on their stance!