Greetings from the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Washington, DC. In this edition of the News Digest, you will find stories about growing support for Azerbaijan in the U.S. Congress, greater energy cooperation with the European Union, and an article from The Wall Street Journal on Baku's economic and cultural modernization. To learn more about the Embassy’s activities, please remember to like us on Facebook
and following us on Twitter.
The Emergence of Azerbaijan's Ancient Capital City, Baku
The Wall Street Journal
After decades of repressive Soviet rule, Baku is experiencing warp-speed modernization—and is translating its rich cultural heritage into the language of the 21st century. Situated at the base of the Caucasus Mountains, Azerbaijan has been conquered over the millennia by Alexander the Great, the Mongols, the Ottomans, the Persians and the Russians. It has been squeezed between East and West, old and new, Islam and Christianity, Europe and Asia for so long that to say it exists at a cultural crossroads—as people have for centuries—is to resort to cliché. In 1991, along with most of the former USSR, Baku emerged from more than 50 years of repressive communist rule, an era that replaced the city's syncretic broadmindedness with monolithic totalitarianism. Since
the thaw—and for the second time in its long history—Azerbaijan has been applying its petro dollars to become an economic engine for the region. Its cultural capital is rising, too.
World Affairs Council hosts Azerbaijan event
A San-Francisco-based branch of the World Affairs Council, a network of local councils that are dedicated to educating, inspiring and engaging Americans on international affairs, hosted a meeting on Azerbaijan as part of the Diplomat Luncheon Series. Azerbaijani Ambassador to the US Elin Suleymanov, who was invited as a guest speaker, made a presentation on Azerbaijan and the changing regional dynamics in Eurasia. Suleymanov informed the event participants on the geostrategic location of Azerbaijan, noted that there has always been ethnic and religious tolerance in Azerbaijan, and attributed the country’s international successes to not only its geographical location and natural resources but also the government's pragmatic and forward-looking
Azerbaijan Offers Iraq Access to Europe Gas Pipelines
Azerbaijan recently offered Iraq access to the "Southern Gas Corridor" connecting the Caspian Sea to the European Union to help Baghdad sell natural gas to Europe, according to Azerbaijan's foreign minister. Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told journalists in Baghdad that Iraqi officials had already expressed interest in joining the U.S.-backed project, which is aimed at reducing Europe’s dependence on Russian gas. "It's a huge project ... and it's open if Iraq is also interested to deliver their own natural gas," Mammadyarov said at a joint news conference with his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshyar Zebari.
U.S. Congressional Azerbaijani Caucus Member List Expands
The number of members of the U.S. Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus has reached 61 as Congressman Doug Collins joined the group. Doug Collins is a Republican United States Representative from Georgia. The Caucus has played an important role in strengthening the partnership between the two countries since it was established 10 years ago.
Beyond Shah Deniz: Azerbaijan’s Next-Generation Gas
The Jamestown Foundation
Azerbaijan is prepared to supply European Union countries with natural gas for decades to come and in growing volumes. The Shah Deniz field, where the producers’ consortium has just approved Phase Two of development, is planned to start commercial production by 2018. Beyond Shah Deniz, however, Azerbaijan owns a number of medium-sized offshore gas and condensate fields, whose aggregate reserves can substantially boost the country’s export potential, once these fields come on stream.
Hinckley Forum: The U.S.-Azerbaijani Relations and Unresolved Karabakh Conflict
Hinckley Institute of Politics
Ambassador Elin Suleymanov recently spoke with the Hinckley Forum at the University of Utah, where he discussed Azerbaijan’s history, role in the international community and Armenia’s continued occupation of Azerbaijani territory.
Ambassador meets students of National Defense University
Azerbaijani Ambassador to US Elin Suleymanov recently met teaching staff and students of the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University. Addressing the event, Mr. Suleymanov highlighted the strategic nature of relations and that both countries share the same interests in fighting against terrorism and implementing energy projects.
Azerbaijan, Israel to Develop Agricultural Cooperation
A delegation headed by Azerbaijani Agriculture Minister Heydar Asadov visited Israel between February 18-20. The visit's goal was to expand agricultural cooperation with Israel and to learn from the country's experience in this field.
Azerbaijan, EU discuss energy cooperation
Azerbaijan's Minister of Energy, Natig Aliyev, recently met with head of the European Union Delegation to the country, Malena Mard, in order to discuss energy cooperation. They commended the progress of relations between Azerbaijan and the EU, and stressed the importance of exploring opportunities for strengthening partnerships between each other in a variety of fields. The minister expressed confidence that Mard’s tenure would give new impetus to greater Azerbaijan-EU ties.
TAP, TANAP to Contribute to Economic Development of Azerbaijan and Transit Countries
The implementation of the Trans-Adriatic (TAP) and Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) gas pipeline projects will make a great contribution to ensuring the region's energy security and that of Europe, Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry Sevinj Hasanova said recently. He added that the implementation of these large energy projects will contribute to both the development of the economy of Azerbaijan and the countries through which these pipelines will run.
Arizona Supports Azerbaijan’s Territorial Integrity
The Legislature of Arizona recently adopted a resolution supporting Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and sovereignty. The resolution notes that both the United States and Arizona support Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and the international community does not recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent entity.
State of Utah Appreciates Achievements of Azerbaijan
Both houses of the Utah state legislature recently accepted an official declaration appreciating the historical achievements of the Azerbaijani people and President Ilham Aliyev, the Azerbaijani embassy to Washington, D.C. reported on Feb. 14. The Declaration was read at a session of the State Senate and then presented to Azerbaijani Ambassador to the U.S., Elin Suleymanov by the co-author of the document, Senator Jim Davis.
New Mexico Senate Adopts Resolution Expressing Support to Azerbaijan’s Territorial Integrity
The New Mexico State Senate recently adopted a resolution dedicated to Azerbaijan on February 13, 2014. The resolution notes that the United States supports Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and that the international community does not recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent entity.
‘Baku Most Beautiful City I Have Ever Visited’
“Baku is most beautiful city that I have ever travelled,” said jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater in an interview with journalists after her recent concert in Baku. “What I saw here made an unforgettable impression on me. I would like visit your country again with great pleasure.”
UN Honors Azerbaijani Professor
Professor Elman Nasirov, head of the Political Studies Institute at the Academy of Public Administration under the Azerbaijani President, and Senior Advisor of the Young Azerbaijan Diplomats Association, was honored with the "Service and Honor" award for achievements in science and education. The International Award Union decided to award Nasirov for successful research in the field of global scientific and political problems. He has presented academic discourses and summaries at over 30 international conferences Europe, the Middle East and Asia.