Greetings from the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Washington, DC. In this edition of the News Digest, you will find stories about Azerbaijan’s perspective on the Iran deal, changing architecture and development initiatives throughout the country and Azerbaijan’s role in the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction Public-Private Partnership. To learn more about the Embassy’s activities, please remember to like us on Facebook
and follow us on Twitter.
Mass. State Rep. Naughton: Engaging moderate Islamic states critical to defeating radicalization
Massachusetts State Rep. Harold Naughton: "In recent weeks, the White House has come under criticism for both engaging Iran and not being harsh enough on Islamic terrorist groups. Having served tours with the US Army in both Iraq and Afghanistan, tasked with isolating radicalized elements inside those nations, I believe the president is doing exactly the right thing. One such nation the United States must continue to work closely with is Azerbaijan, who in the past has proven a reliable partner in our fight against these radicalized groups. I am confident they will do so in the future and urge both nations to continue to be strong allies and work closely together."
How does this country, neighbor of Iran and friend of Israel, view the Iran deal?
The Daily Signal
Most of the world has a stake in a potential US-led nuclear deal with Iran. But some places are uniquely positioned to evaluate it. Take Azerbaijan, a small country that borders Iran and Russia and is friends with Israel—the primary opponent of a deal with Tehran that would ease sanctions over the country in return for constraining its nuclear program. Azerbaijani Ambassador to the US Elin Suleymanov recently spoke with the Daily Signal to share his country’s unique perspective on the potential Iran nuclear deal and to forecast what the pact would mean for the wider region.
Ambassador talks international relations with UVA students
The University of Virginia welcomed Azerbaijani Ambassador to the US Elin Suleymanov to meet with students on April 9. Mr. Suleymanov explained how developments in this region affect not only their own interests but also those of the United States. He says he wants students to understand the importance of international relations. "The United States has a leadership role in the world, but that leadership role comes with certain responsibilities. And in order to maintain those responsibilities, people need to know the route. So, the more people know about international affairs, the better it is for American interest," said the ambassador.
Washington Senate adopts unanimous resolution supporting Azerbaijan
On April 9, the Washington State Senate passed a resolution expressing strong support for Azerbaijan and its friendship with the US. Passed unanimously, the resolution notes that the people of Azerbaijan established in 1918 “the first secular democracy in the Islamic world,” and that “Azerbaijan is today a staunch ally and partner of the US.” It also mentions that Azerbaijan and the US “share a strong commitment to diversifying energy supplies, fighting terrorism, and promoting regional security.”
Baku to the future: Changing architecture in Azerbaijan's capital
The Financial Times
Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is experiencing a building frenzy to match a Gulf state. It has a new luxuriantly planted seafront esplanade, which emulates La Croisette at Cannes; and glossy hotels — such as Fairmont, Four Seasons, Hilton, Kempinski and Marriott — glint in the sun. The building boom has been accelerated by this summer’s Baku 2015 European Games, the inaugural multi-sports event. All this is part of an ambitious regeneration program throughout the city, which includes new boulevards, expressways, bridges, flyovers, parks and promenades.
European Commissioner Hahn meets Azerbaijani President to focus on energy
Natural Gas Europe
European Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met in Baku on April 9 to discuss stronger cooperation between the Caucasus country and the EU. Mr. Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and President Aliyev noted that energy projects present good opportunities for increased cooperation.
Italian economic development minister: TAP to ensure diversification of EU gas supply sources
Italian Minister of Economic Development Federica Guidi on April 15 emphasized the importance of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) for European energy markets. “TAP will ensure diversification of gas supply sources for the European Union and Italy and will serve to strengthen energy security of the region,” said Ms. Guidi. She also hailed the role of the Southern Gas Corridor project in strengthening ties between Azerbaijan and Italy.
SOCAR VP: More must be done to cut wasteful, polluting gas flaring
Rafiga Huseynzade, vice president of ecology for the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), recently penned an op-ed on gas flaring: "As pollution and green energy gain more attention from today’s environmentally conscious public, efforts to further reduce gas flaring should be strengthened, as they will bring significant long-term dividends for the international community. From a policy and regulatory perspective, producers can create the frameworks required to reduce flaring by joining the efforts of the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction Public-Private Partnership, which Azerbaijan and SOCAR joined to better identify solutions to eliminate flaring from the energy industry by 2030. Azerbaijan, as an oil-producing
country, has undertaken bold actions in this regard, achieving significant results over the past several years."
Azerbaijan's fast track to development to benefit future generations
Asian Development Bank
The Central Asian country of Azerbaijan is taking steps to expand the base of its oil-dependent economy, laying the foundation for the future of the country's next generation. Watch the YouTube video here.
#HelloBaku: The European Games come to Azerbaijan
The Huffington Post
In just over three months, the streets of Baku, Azerbaijan will welcome athletes from across Europe in the first ever European games. With the Rio Olympics to follow in 2016, it presents an opportunity for all athletes to test their skills in 20 sports across 30 disciplines. 16 of these sports are Olympic events, and the remaining 4 are new to the format (karate, 3x3 basketball, beach soccer and sambo). Behind the games is a diverse workforce from 43 different countries spanning five continents. 20,000 contractors are getting the city of Baku prepared for the games, and the country’s Games Academy Program seeks to ensure that the citizens of Baku benefit from the sporting facilities for future events as well.