Consul General in Los Angeles: Armenian lobby in the U.S. is guided by an unhealthy zero-sum mentality

The article “U.S. And Azerbaijan: A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed” by Azerbaijan’s Consul General in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev, dedicated to Azerbaijan-U.S. relations and the Armenian lobby’s hate campaign to undermine these relations and damage Azerbaijan, has been published on June 27 by over 150 U.S. media outlets.

The media outlets publishing the article have included Reuters news agency and YahooNews news portal, as well as newspapers such as Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Sacramento Bee, California Chronicle, Los Angeles Daily News, Pasadena Star-News and San Luis Obispo Tribune.

Recalling the "U.S.-Azerbaijan Convention: Vision for Future", which was successfully held this May in Baku bringing together over 300 elected officials from the U.S., including senators and congressmen from Washington DC as well as state legislators and other elected officials from 42 states, the Consul General writes that the “Convention was a chance to reflect on how far the partnership has come and look forward to the future of this remarkable relationship.” Noting that both nations share same values and interests, the diplomat highlights the key areas of relationship between Azerbaijan and the U.S., mentions the invaluable contributions of Azerbaijan, “which is a reliable ally in a difficult region”, to America’s national security, as well as stresses Azerbaijan’s indispensable role in “supporting global energy security, a key policy of U.S. administrations for forty years.” In this regard, Nasimi Aghayev notes: “With the upcoming construction of a major gas pipeline to Europe, Azerbaijan will become key to developing a long-term and diverse energy supply for this continent.”

Calling Azerbaijan “a symbol of intercultural and interreligious harmony”, the Consul General writes that for centuries Muslims, Christians and Jews have peacefully co-existed in Azerbaijan, and that this exemplary tolerance was recently lauded by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who explicitly noted Azerbaijan's "commitment to fighting anti-Semitism and a commitment to diversity and pluralism."

“However”, Nasimi Aghayev continues, “guided by an unhealthy zero-sum mentality, one particular group in Washington has always been unhappy and envious about anything positive happening in U.S.-Azerbaijan relations.” “Since the very beginning of Azerbaijan's independence, the Armenian lobby has conducted a comprehensive campaign in the nation's capital to damage U.S.-Azerbaijan strategic partnership, undermine Azerbaijani interests and defend at all costs the illegal military occupation of 20% of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory by Armenia – the occupation that was accompanied by massacres and total ethnic cleansing, leading to the forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis from their native lands”, the diplomat notes.

The author stresses that the “in trying to hurt Azerbaijan, the Armenian lobby has constantly harmed U.S. national interests: and it continues to do so today only following its own ethnocentric agenda without any regard for America's core interests.” In this vein, the Consul General mentions the unjust Section 907 adopted against Azerbaijan in 1992 at the U.S. Congress and the blocking of the skilled American diplomat Mathew Bryza’s nomination for ambassadorship in Azerbaijan at the U.S. Senate in 2010.

Aghayev concludes by stating that for the sake of restoring stability in this increasingly important region, the U.S. needs to play a more active role in resolving the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.

Here are links to some of the U.S. media outlets publishing the article:

Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/27/ca-azerbaijan-allies-idUSnPNDC39509+1e0+PRN20130627 

Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130627-908949.html?mod=googlenews_wsj 

Boston Globe: http://finance.boston.com/boston/news/read/24524897/u.s._and_azerbaijan 

YahooNews: http://news.yahoo.com/u-azerbaijan-friend-friend-indeed-142200810.html 

Sacramento Bee: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/27/5528624/us-and-azerbaijan-a-friend-in.html 

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