The Daily Mail: Human rights activists criticized appearance of Duke
of York at dinner with corrupt dictator president Aliyev
18:40 16/04/2013 » SOCIETY
The Duke of York has risked a new diplomatic row after he claimed to
be `representing Britain’ at a lavish dinner hosted by a brutal
dictator, the British Daily Mail reported.
As it is noted in the article, nearly two years after being forced to
step down as an official UK trade envoy, Prince Andrew was pictured at
a summit in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, mingling with
prime ministers, politicians, bankers and oil executives.
The author of the article notes, during last week’s event, he gave his
views on the economic prospects for central Asia ` despite having no
authority to do so officially.
The Daily Mail writes that the MPs and human rights groups also
criticised his appearance as guest of honour at the table of
Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, whose corrupt regime is accused of
imprisoning opponents, torturing dissidents and rigging elections.
As the author notes that, it is the tenth time in seven years that the
Duke ` nicknamed `Airmiles Andy’ because of his penchant for luxury
air travel ` has met Aliyev. In 2011, figures revealed that in his
previous decade as trade ambassador, Andrew had cost the taxpayer
nearly £4?million on 76 foreign trips, not including the cost of
In 2009 The Mail on Sunday told how Andrew spent £60,000 of public
money to charter a private jet for a three-day visit to Azerbaijan’s
The article notes that concerns over the Prince’s friendship with
Aliyev was one of the reasons he was forced to step down as a UK trade
envoy in July 2011.
Max Tucker, Amnesty International’s Azerbaijan expert, said: `Andrew’s
cosy dinner with President Aliyev is incredibly `badly timed’. In the
past couple of months the regime has stepped up its clampdown on free
expression ahead of October’s presidential elections. We urge the Duke
of York to make clear to Aliyev that this wave of arrests must stop.’
Labour MP Paul Flynn, who tabled an early day motion last November
asking why the Prince had visited the `loathsome, anti-democratic,
election-rigging President Aliyev’, added: `It is an absolute outrage
that Andrew is using his Royal status in order to prop up an odious
leader who is oppressing his own people and claiming to represent the
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress