Why is Washington concerned about Baku?
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry commented on another "deep concern" of Washington in connection with the arrests of relatives of opposition journalists in Azerbaijan, accusing the US State Department of another attempt to interfere in the country’s internal affairs.
"The US Department of State pretends not to see the incidents in the region which cause discontent, including severe beatings and arrests of peaceful demonstrators in Yerevan," spokesman for the Azerbaijani foreign ministry, Hikmet Hajiyev, said.
“The deep concern of Washington, aimed at interfering in the internal affairs of Azerbaijan, is another obvious example of double standards,” he said, noting that the rule of law has been fully ensured in democratic Azerbaijan and no one is persecuted for political views or activities. "Such preconceived views towards criminal cases without a court verdict are nothing but inappropriate and unsuccessful interventions in the lawsuit," Hajiyev said, adding that the fact that the mass violation of human rights of more than one million Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons, deprived of their fundamental rights as a result of Armenia’s aggression, is never included on the list of so-called deep concerns of the US Department of State, is a strange thing.
"Presenting the US as a 'global patron' of human rights amid the police violence covering the whole country, not considering its obligations arising from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and systematic cases of racial differences, long arrests without trial and investigation, torture in Guantanamo, secret tapping operations held at the global level within the country and even against its closest allies, murders without investigation committed by the drones by violating the sovereignty of other countries and many other similar problems causes just irony,” the spokesman for the Azerbaijani foreign ministry stressed.
A Milli Majlis deputy, political scientist Asim Mollazade, told Vestnik Kavkaza that the anti-Azerbaijani policy statements in the United States are fuelled by the Armenian diaspora in the US. "Look, the US doesn't react to the beating of peaceful demonstrators in Yerevan, arrests of journalists, taking hostages in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. But if, figuratively speaking, a fly were flying over Azerbaijan, Washington immediately condemns it," Mollazade said.
"Of course, Azerbaijan and the United States cooperate in many areas. But there are issues on which we have different opinions and the activities of the Armenian lobby are a negative factor influencing US policy in relations with Azerbaijan," he said.
"It is important for Azerbaijan to conduct an independent foreign policy based on the national interests of our country and people," Mollazade concluded.
A political scientist, an MP of the Azerbaijani Majlis, Rasim Musabekov, in his turn, pointed out that the US criticizes all countries without exception in that way. "Our Foreign Ministry reacted in such a way to remind Washington that it should mind its own business and not interfere with others. However, I will not say that this assessment by the State Department and the reaction of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry will affect our bilateral relations in any way," Musabekov said.
The political scientist has explained that Azerbaijan is independent of the United States, and therefore the possibility of US pressure on Baku is severely limited. He also reminded that speeches in the United States often differ from their deeds. "Many countries are under attack from the United States in some aspects, but that does not prevent any American companies or the state establishing closer and mutually beneficial relations with these countries," Rasim Musabekov summed up.