Azerbaijan, Baku, 5 November / Trend / Democrat Barack Obama won the presidential election in the United States.
What changes in the United States' foreign policy for Azerbaijan are expected? May the United States' approach towards settling of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict change?
Trend agency posed the questions to experts and political scientists:
Ali Hasanov, the head of the Socio-Political Department of the Azerbaijani President's Office: Azerbaijan-U.S. relations are of both nations' interests and they should be maintained in terms of partnership. Whoever will head the country, the policy based on the people's choice must be continued.
Certainly, the best president is the one elected by the people. If the American people have elected Barack Obama, so the wishes and hopes of the people will be reflected in his further activity. And that is to Azerbaijan's good, because the state interests of Azerbaijan coincide with those of the American people.
The policy formed under the influence of any diaspora in most cases does not meet the interests of Americans. To put it more precisely, the endeavours of the Armenian diaspora to direct the policy of the US Government do not meet the interests of the American people.
Therefore, whoever the president will be, the United States will show preference for common interests, the state and national interests. And this policy meets the interests of Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, the US policy is based not only on the wish of the American people, but sometimes is influenced by certain diasporas. That does not meet the common interests of our countries.
U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Anne Derse: The United States will keep adhering to development of bilateral relations with Azerbaijan, and the new U.S. administration will only change the methods to achieve the goal. And the goal will remain the same - to achieve peace and stability in the region.
United States' main focus in the region will be to develop the bilateral relations in terms of energy security, to develop democracy and stability in the region. Azerbaijan will still take an important place in the foreign policy of the United States.
Independent Azerbaijani political expert Rustam Mammadov: The U.S. interests are over the interests of the presidents. If president decides to make any changes in the interests, he must first coordinate them with the all state organizations. Probably, some improvement of the management model will take place, but that is most likely to be linked not with the new president but with a new activity stage of the American statehood.
Anyway, I do not believe any serious change will take place in the U.S. policy. Moreover, Barack Obama visited Baku and is well aware of the situation. Further cooperation between the United States and Azerbaijan must be provided.
Independent Azerbaijani political scientist Vafa Guluzade: The new U.S. President will correct the changes made by the Bush Administration, particularly those in the Islamic world. The United States proved its democracy through this election.
Many say that Barack Obama tends to support Armenians, but I think he should try to unyoke Armenia from Russia and help it to normalize relations with neighbours as many will benefit from it, in other words, Armenia will normalize its ties with neighbours and Azerbaijan will recover Nagorno-Karabakh.
Isa Gambar, chief of right central opposition Musavat Party of Azerbaijan: Usually, new US president does not make profound changes in foreign policy. The United States supports foreign policy built on conceptual framework. New presidents continue foreign policy consistent with US interest. Barack Obama's election as president can bring about some changes. Given Obama's promise to recognize so-called "genocide" of Armenians, analysts say new president will not depend on oil sector of US. These two factors can be reasons for Obama's different approach towards the region and ongoing processes in Azerbaijan. Therefore, Azerbaijan should take into account all these realities and make every effort to bring into the notice of elite and new US Administration the significance of the region, its problems and interests in a more accurate way. I think this approach also concerns Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Russia's becoming more active in the region and Moscow's attempts to force US out of this region should be taken into consideration by US.
Aydin Mirzazade, member of Political Council of governing New Azerbaijan Party: Barack Obama's election as president will not lead to radical changes in Azerbaijan-US ties. They are partners. Azerbaijan makes its own contribution to the war on terror and ensures energy security in the region. Concerning settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, I think new US president will work hard to protect internal policy of the country within the coming two years and then to get actively involved in the resolution of the conflict.
Ali Karimli, chief of right central opposition Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan: Most probably, US foreign policy will not undergo cardinal changes during Barack Obama's term of office as whoever is president, it serves national interests.
Lately, US supported territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. This is a position of a state, but not only George Bush administration. We should do nothing and wait for new administration to clarify position towards Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We should advance some initiative, further strengthen US-Azerbaijani ties and make every effort so that US will accept Azerbaijan's territorial integrity as a key principle in resolution of the conflict.
MP Siyavush Novruzov, deputy chief of New Azerbaijan Party: Azerbaijan-US ties will not undergo changes during Barack Obama presidency. Whoever takes a lead in US administration - Democrats or Republicans, the United States will pursue consistent policy. New US administration is also willing to solve Armenian-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which is favourable for US first of all.
R.Novruzov and I.Alizade contributed to the survey.
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