- How do you assess the Azerbaijani-British relations for today?
- UK-Azerbaijan relations are very strong and have historical and cultural background. Only last week in London at 100 years of Azerbaijan Defense event arranged by the Azerbaijan embassy British minister of defense said: ‘hundreds of British companies are working in Azerbaijan in oil, gas, education and cultural sectors’. I must say, ‘if you make visa process easy and may be short term visa free entry on arrival for British citizens more people will come here for holidays’. For example, British citizens can get Turkish visa online straight away or Kazakhstan grant three months visa free entry on arrival. Azerbaijan is an oil producing country and can give tax free or cheap fuel to Azerbaijan airline, I don’t understand why airline fares are so expansive from London to Baku? So only people come to Baku are mostly officials or family visitors but not tourists. Can you imagine if British tourists come to Baku and spend money on hotels, restaurants and buying presents? It will automatically cover the reduction cost of airfares to Baku from London in the movement of Economy.
- Do Britain and Azerbaijan cooperate in the field of defense?
Azerbaijani armed force officers are training in the elite British defense institutions like RCDS (Royal College of Defense Studies). Your Defense Attaché Col. Vulgar is doing an excellent job in London. Well Britain is already offering training support as well as happy to assist in anything Azerbaijan need for its defense.
- How do you see the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
I think international community as well as United Nations has played a very hypocritical role on Nagorno-Karbakh issue with Armenia. UN as well as so called international community’s failure to identify clearly the perpetrator (Armenia) and victim (Azerbaijan) showed the interests they have in the matter. Two sides can not be equal in this case. Armenians have clearly committed war crimes against civilians, men, women and children therefore, the matter should be referred to international criminal court or even your local Azerbaijan supreme court should conduct a criminal trial of ‘murder of unarmed civilians with impunity’ against the civilian leaders of Armenia. Those Armenian army officers involved in the ‘war crime against unarmed civilians’ should be court martialed in the military courts of Azerbaijan as crimes were committed on Azerbaijani soil and therefore, it has jurisdiction.
- In your opinion, why don`t the UN resolutions work against Armenia?
- UN is a useless body and become irrelevant in its role and purpose. UNSC is a club of 5 non-Muslim Christian dominated veto powers with no representations of over 1.5 billion Muslim population in the world. UN resolutions on Kashmir, Palestine, Nagorno Karabakh are pending for years which it has completely failed to implement. UN is more of hostage to the US and its war mongering and profiteering policies. US has killed over 20 million people in past 70 years. I think UN needs complete modernization and rehauling to make it compatible with the 21st century.
The other thing is the proactive role of Armenian political elite abroad, Armenian church and support of Russia, EU and US in bringing the criminals to justice in this case and resolve the issue.
Azerbaijan need to review its strategy and make it more modern and pro active in media, religious and political circles.
- By the way, you recently visited Azerbaijan. Tell us, please, about your impressions of visiting our country?
- Yes, I was part of the British election observer delegation with Lord Evans and David Morris (MP). We visited various polling stations in Baku including where President voted. I am really impressed with the participation of the Azeri people in the election process especially women.
Over all Azerbaijan is modern country and making its marks at international stage, people are very friendly by nature. I see lot tourists coming to Baku and Tourism Minister in a meeting told me that: we are working in developing transport infrastructure and hotels from 5 stars to low cost living’. He invited me to carpet museum which was brilliant.
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