Matthew Bryza: West underappreciates Azerbaijan’s strategic importance (VIDEO)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 13
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
The West underappreciates Azerbaijan's strategic importance, Matthew Bryza, the former deputy assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, former US ambassador to Azerbaijan, former US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, and director of International Centre for Defence and Security in Tallinn, , said in an interview with Trend during "This week in focus" program.
"Azerbaijan is of significant strategic importance for Europe and US," Bryza said. "The West underappreciates that and chooses to highlight Azerbaijan as an easy example of a country it can kick around for democracy and human rights, and does so."
"Azerbaijan's strategic importance is way beyond what we normally talk about," he further noted. "Forget about energy, forget about transit to Afghanistan. Azerbaijan is the only country in the world that borders both Iran and Russia."
He said Azerbaijan is a country with traditions of religious diversity and tolerance.
"Azerbaijan has a great story to tell," Bryza said. "Its success is amazing over the course of the last 20 years."
He added that Azerbaijan is an amazing friend for the West to have.
Aygun Badalova is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AygunBadalova