The National Interest: Receiving illegal Karabakh regime "head" serves as detriment to US-Azerbaijan friendly relations

The National Interest: Receiving illegal Karabakh regime "head" serves as detriment to US-Azerbaijan friendly relations

Baku, Azerbaijan, March 17

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

Visit of Bako Sahakyan, who claims to be the “president” of the illegal regime created in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, to Washington undermines the United States’ approach (as the OSCE Minsk Group’s co-chair) to the peaceful resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and serves as a detriment to friendly relations between the United States and Azerbaijan.

The remarks were made by Dr. Farhad Mammadov, the director of the Center for Strategic Studies under the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in his article published in The National Interest.

“It is quite well-known that there are groups that speak on behalf of non-U.S.-allied nations, and tend to promote policies that benefit their home nation with little regard for America’s best interests. One clear example is the promotion of this week’s visit by the so-called president of the separatist “Nagorno-Karabakh Republic” Bako Sahakyan to the United States, which was organized by the Armenian diaspora in the United States,” said the author.

Mammadov pointed out that this event has already had a negative effect, which is why Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has presented a note of protest to the United States.

He notes that after Donald Trump entered the White House, he signed a decree banning former administration officials from lobbying the United States on behalf of foreign governments.

“The activities of the Armenian lobby are a well-known fact, and its influence over US foreign policy has always been tremendous. The Armenian diaspora has been lobbying in hopes to shape US foreign policy toward a pro-Armenian stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. One of the Armenian lobby’s significant achievements was the adoption and maintenance of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, which has frozen US aid to Azerbaijan. Although previous Democratic and Republican administrations alike have understood the negative impact of Section 907 for US national interests, and tried to remove it, the strong Armenian lobby has successfully resisted these efforts,” wrote the author.

That the Armenian diaspora’s lobbying through financial and political means hampers American policy in the South Caucasus has been voiced by officials of previous administrations, said the article.

Mammadov pointed out that the United States has hitherto supported the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders.

“Azerbaijan, as a secular Muslim country, has been always a trustworthy partner for the United States in fighting international terrorism and supporting the US mission in Afghanistan. Azerbaijan has also emerged as a reliable platform for international negotiations, including for dialogue between Russian and American military chiefs. Moreover, Azerbaijan’s contribution to the energy security of the United States’ European allies is an undisputed reality,” said the article.

The author noted that since the history of the South Caucasus is full of conflicts and territorial claims, undermining international law and establishing double standards might set negative and bloody precedents for the future.

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