Details added (first version posted on 19:13)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 21
Biased step taken by US Congressman Chris Smith is not a stance of the US officials and the White House, said Azerbaijani president's aide for public and political affairs, Ali Hasanov, Dec. 21.
"In such issues, Azerbaijan gives priority not to the stance of individual pro-Armenian politicians, but to the official position of the partner countries and builds its policy on the basis of that position," said Hasanov.
"That congressman [Smith] is known well in Azerbaijan," he said. "We know well that since early 2000 he has been continuously making pro-Armenian statements and initiatives trying to cast a shadow to relations between Azerbaijan and the US at any cost, acting not as a Congress representative of New Jersey, from where he was elected, but as that from Armenia's Abovian region."
Hasanov further said Smith is one of the pro-Armenian congressmen zealously trying to have the US recognize the so-called Armenian genocide.
"Throughout this year, he has several times made statements on the necessity of recognizing the "genocide", and has even signed a pleading appeal to the US president," noted Hasanov.
"In short, my attitude towards the bills prepared by that person is the same as towards his reputation," he said.
"The main thing is that so far Washington hasn't attached any significance to the initiatives taken by Smith either on the "Armenian genocide" or against Azerbaijan," he said, adding that therefore this issue shouldn't be taken seriously.
Hasanov also expressed hope that Smith's recent act will also be rejected by the US officials and the bill he prepared will go down in history as one of the unfulfilled wishes of the pro-Armenian forces.
"Actually, each country has a politician like Smith," noted Hasanov.
He said in Azerbaijan there are people who believe the US approaches the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict from a pro-Armenian position, sometimes taking a biased stance with regard to Azerbaijan, falling under influence of the Armenian diaspora and lobby.
"They demand the Azerbaijani government to put an end to the strategic partnership with the US, and give an adequate response to the biased approach to our country," he said.
"But, I'd like to note that we are interested in developing relations with the US, just like with other countries, and we don't allow certain challenges to harm the bilateral relations," added the official.
"However, if the US officially supports this biased bill, succumbing to the "game" of the pro-Armenian forces, Azerbaijani government will give the necessary response, no doubt," he said.