BAKU: Kauzlarich, Called Azerbaijan’s ‘Friend’ Exposes His True Face


Yeni Azarbaycan, Azerbaijan
Aug 31 2013

by Hulya Mammadli

True to their tradition, those who cannot abide Azerbaijan’s
development and true sovereignty wish to capitalize on the increased
international attention to the country on the eve of the elections and
expand their smear campaign. The former US ambassador to Azerbaijan,
Richard Kauzlarich, has recently been observed to be at the fore of
this campaign. Some time ago in an interview full of accusations
against Azerbaijan Kauzlarich described himself as Azerbaijan’s
“friend”. Recently, he co-authored a report published in The New
York Times, where his anti-Azerbaijani and pro-Armenian position is
more pronounced.

Kauzlarich exposes pro-Armenian bias

Although the report was shaped as an evaluation of the geostrategic
significance of the South Caucasus countries, one look at the gist of
it shows that this is yet another report written in order to carry on
the campaign of pressure on Azerbaijan and smearing its image in the
run-up to the election. The part of the report concerning Azerbaijan
is far from being objectively analytical and reads like an accusation.

What is more, the distortion of realities concerning Azerbaijan
and the biased attitude to the country make it clear what are the
true goals and objectives of the report that openly expresses a
pro-Armenian position.

First of all, in contrast to other South Caucasus republics,
discrimination against Azerbaijan is obvious in the report. The report
explicitly says that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are Georgia’s occupied
regions. However, there is a biased approach to the realities in
Azerbaijan. As you know, Armenia has invaded Azerbaijan’s Nagornyy
Karabakh and seven adjacent districts, hundreds of thousands of
Azerbaijanis were displaced from their native land, material and
cultural traces of Azerbaijanis in the region are being destroyed
with the hands of the puppet Armenian regime, natural resources
are plundered.

The report turns a blind eye to all these factors and downplays the
Armenian-Azerbaijan, Nagornyy Karabakh conflict as mere “military
stand-off”: “A two-decade military stand-off persists around
Nagorno-Karabakh, populated by ethnic Armenians but lying within
Azerbaijan”. You can see that the report does not mention the fact
of occupation. “Forgetting” the local Azerbaijani population reduced
to displaced persons from Nagornyy Karabakh is done to deny the fact
that the region belongs to the Azerbaijani people.

Another aspect that shows the pro-Armenian position of the report is
that the closed state of the Turkish-Armenian border is portrayed as
detrimental to the security climate. Quite the opposite, the main
factor that worsens the security climate in the South Caucasus is
that instead of applying necessary international pressure on Armenia
some countries lend it political, economic and military support. As
if this was not enough, the co-authors attempt to put the blame for
the failure to achieve peace on the Azerbaijani leadership. Let us
reiterate, the reason why the conflict remains unresolved for 20 years,
UN Security Council resolutions remain unfulfilled and the threat of
war remains high in the region is the lack of necessary international
pressure on Armenia.

Kauzlarich, as one of the co-authors of the report, has thus exposed
his pro-Armenian bias. On what grounds can this person be considered
“Azerbaijan’s friend” if he doubts the fact that Nagornyy Karabakh
belongs to the Azerbaijani people and has been occupied?

Reason for former ambassador’s officiousness is known: elections
draw near

The report talks about the developments that preceded the 2013
presidential election in Armenia and the attempt on the life of
one of the candidates is mentioned as an ordinary fact. If such an
event had taken place in Azerbaijan, we would likely see a completely
different treatment. While the objective of the report is to criticize
Azerbaijan, the author suffers from the shortage of arguments and
uses false claims from the radical opposition press about violations
of political and human rights in Azerbaijan.

The report also alleges that the national leadership is preventing the
arrival of [joint candidate of the opposition’s National Council]
Rustam Ibrahimbayov to the country. But everybody knows that
Ibrahimbayov himself impedes his return and despite numerous promises
about returning on different dates, he does not do so without providing
any serious grounds. It is obvious that Ibrahimbayov himself and those
in the “National Council” are well aware that he cannot compete in
the election. Therefore, they are purposely impeding his participation
in the election, while blaming it on the government.

[Passage omitted: Opposition press distorts report]

Kauzlarich as “friend” who wishes ill

On the other hand, the possibility of a “political overthrow” discussed
in the report speaks more about the exposed wishes of the author,
rather than the reality. Anybody who knows Azerbaijan is aware that
even compared with a number of developed countries the social and
political situation in the country is more stable. When somebody who
says they are knowledgeable about Azerbaijan assesses the situation
in the country in a non-objective way, this stems from bad intentions.

As you can see, this report co-authored by Kauzlarich is slander dreamt
up abroad and designed to deal a blow to Azerbaijan’s image and confuse
the public opinion in the run-up to the election. With this report he
showed that despite his claims he is not a friend of Azerbaijan. On
the contrary, he showed his expressly pro-Armenian and biased
position. The good will and sincerity of such a person’s “advice”
and “recommendations” concerning the country are rather dubious.

Many such campaigns have been waged against Azerbaijan and each of
them failed. Despite sabotage our country’s international standing
is on the rise. Attempts to deceive the public opinion in Azerbaijan
are also doomed to fail.

[Translated from Azeri]

From: Baghdasarian

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