BAKU: Azeri paper speculates on replacement of envoy to Georgia

Azeri paper speculates on replacement of envoy to Georgia

Azadliq, Baku
13 Apr 04

Text of Information Department’s report by Azerbaijani newspaper
Azadliq on 13 April headlined “Ilham Aliyev has sent his university
mate to Georgia” and subheaded “Witnesses of old regimes are being
‘disposed of'”

The Azerbaijani ambassador to Georgia, Hacan Haciyev, has been
recalled and replaced by Ramiz Ayvaz oglu Hasanov.

Hasanov, 43, was born in Georgia. He studied at Moscow’s State
Institute of International Relations together with Azerbaijani
President Ilham Aliyev. His father, Ayvaz Hasanov, used to command a
lot of respect among ethnic Azeris in Georgia and was a deputy
agriculture minister of Georgia.

According to people who know the new ambassador, his appointment to
Georgia is like an “honorable exile” for he could aspire to become a
minister considering his contacts with Aliyev and other factors.

According to some circles, Haciyev’s recall may have to do with the
new Georgian leadership’s irk at dubious cooperation between the
regimes of Heydar Aliyev and Eduard Shevardnadze the former
Azerbaijani and Georgian presidents . Haciyev was, to put it mildly,
too well informed about the forms of this cooperation. The recent
seizure of the smuggled oil on the Georgia-Armenia border is part of
such “cooperation”.

The incumbent Azerbaijani leadership reckons that there are too many
differences between Georgia under Shevardnadze and under the
incumbent, and that hence it should rid itself of all people who
served such “cooperation”.

Prior to this appointment, Hasanov was deputy chairman of the
joint-stock company Azarkontrakt.