September 12, 2006

U.S. Ambassador in Baku -"Azerbaijan Is A Faithful Ally In Global War Against Terrorism"

( Baku; 09.11.2006; Various News Sources) On the 5th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks against the World Trade Center in New York, USA, there has been a flurry of related news stories emanating from Baku, Azerbaijan, that our readers might find perplexing and troubling to say the least. Below is a compilation of these stories.

On September 11th, in Baku, at a ceremony marking the 5th anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy, United States Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Anne Derse, stated, "Azerbaijan became one of the faithful allies of the U.S. in this global fight against terrorism. Therefore our government expresses its gratitude to Azerbaijan".

(Note: Anne Derse was confirmed U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan in May 2006. Prior to that she worked as Director for Biodefense Policy at the U.S. Homeland Security Council. In 2004-2005, she assisted in establishing the new U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq)

In a related story, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, during the 5th session at the Islamic Conference of Tourism in Baku , remarked, " Today is September 11th and five years ago the world saw a terrible attack. The Islamic World condemned this attack." In the same breath he continued by mentioning the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and how Azerbaijan has also suffered from Armenian " terror ".

(Pokr Mher: At this time there is no U.S. Ambassador in Armenia. John Evans, who had been serving in that capacity was unceremoniously sacked for publicly recognizing the Armenian Genocide of 1915, a stance contrary to the current Bush Administration's policy. His most likely successor, Richard Hoagland, has refused to refer to the events of 1915 as a genocide. The U.S. Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations recently confirmed Hoagland's nomination by a vote of 13 to 5. It is curious to note that Committee Chairman, Senator Richard Lugar, who actively fought for Hoagland's confirmation , has been a frequent visitor to Azerbaijan. In May 2006, Senator Lugar also supported the candidacy of Anne Derse to become the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan. During the Derse confirmation hearings Senator Lugar stressed Azerbaijan's importance in the energy sector and called on the U.S. to continue assisting the regime in Baku.)


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