Continued pressure on foreign entities

On April 2, an MP from the ruling New Azerbaijan Party suggested that the OSCE, NDI, and Western Embassies should be shut down. [Ali Novruzov's blog] The reason? “they regularly interfere into Azerbaijan’s internal affairs, organize riots, finance and instruct radical destructive forces.” Pressure on several entities, in particular NDI and the OSCE, has been ongoing for some time, as Azerbaijan TL;DR previously reported. Allegations surfaced that NDI was planning a so-called “Facebook Revolution” and the Azerbaijani government is seeking to change the mandate of the OSCE office in Baku. On April 4, Ali Hasanov, the head of the Department of Social and Political Affairs of the Presidential Administration said that NDI and other NGOs should not violate the laws of Azerbaijan. [Haqqin] [RFERL] NDI update At the end of March, Azerbaijan’s Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov sent a letter [APA report] to the U.S. Embassy, alleging that NDI has violated numerous laws of Azerbaijan. The U.S. embassy sent the letter to NDI for review [Contact.az report] and noted that NDI and its director work to support Azerbaijan`s civil society engagement and democratic development. Around the same time, APA reported that NDI’s activities were discussed in a phone call between U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry and his Azerbaijani counterpart Eldar Mammedyarov. The U.S. Embassy denies that this phone call took place [Contact.az report]. The US Ambassador Richard Morningstar appeared on ANS TV and said that “I think I can be very clear on that, all the accusations are totally groundless, NDI’s activities are transparent and aimed at the development of civil society… the organization has been implementing a number of projects in Azerbaijan , their activities are aimed at buy cialis online helping local businessmen, solving existing problems in society. It does not mean that the NDI is involved in politics. While speaking about the development of civil society I meant community development activities which have nothing to do with politics.” In the US Dept. of State’s Daily Press Briefing for April, 1, Spokeswoman Rebecca Nuland said she wasn’t aware of specific issues related to NDI in Azerbaijan, but “all of our U.S.-funded democracy NGOs operate within extremely tight guidelines. They don’t fund any particular party or any particular ideological approach. They fund the process of democratic elections and party building in an evenhanded manner across the political spectrum.” On April 2, haqqin.az news website resurrected news from 2005 [haqqin.az. report, in Russian] regarding Albert Einstein Institution’s work to translate the book “From Dictatorship to Democracy” in Azerbaijani. The author emphasizes that NDI and National Endowment for Democracy are the primary funders of the Albert Einstein Institution’s work. RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani service reports that NDI’s Azerbaijan registration is slated to expire in July 2013. NDI’s current registration was obtained in July 2012 after Azerbaijan’s legislation was amended on March 16, 2011 to require all foreign NGOs to obtain written permission for their operations from the Justice Ministry. NDI temporary closed its Baku office in the wake of the legislative amendments and

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then reopened. On April 11, US Ambassador Richard Morningstar, speaking at AFU, proclaimed the US government’s support for NDI. [video] OSCE update In late March it was reported that government of Azerbaijan is seeking to convert the OSCE Office into a project coordination office [RFE/RL report, in Azerbaijani]. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Secretary Elman Abdullayev said that the reason for this request is that some of the office’s current activities are questionable. On April 4, the head of the OSCE Office in Baku made a statement that the changing status of OSCE in Baku will be decided at an OSCE Permanent Council meeting. [Haqqin] On April 11, the Foreign Minister asked the OSCE Permanent Council to designate the OSCE Baku office as a project coordinator rather than a mandate. [Contact] [Haqqin]viagra medication

One thought on “Continued pressure on foreign entities

  1. Edmund Rhoads on

    The latest statement from NDI on Azerbaijan is as follows:

    A number of articles based on fabrications and malicious propaganda continue to appear in the Azerbaijani press concerning the activities of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the purpose of its programs. These reports are completely baseless.

    “Repeating a series of falsehoods over and over again does not make them true,” said NDI President Kenneth Wollack.

    NDI and its local partners have helped civil society organizations, young future leaders, and other citizens cooperate peacefully and constructively with local governments to improve their communities. They have promoted dialogue to improve local infrastructure, such as roads, lights, utilities, and parks, and provided opportunities for citizens in the form of classes, book clubs, social awareness campaigns, and environmental projects. The Institute has also supported the efforts of Azerbaijani citizens to protect the integrity of their political processes through nonpartisan domestic election monitoring, consistent with the principles of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). NDI has been transparent about these activities with Azerbaijani authorities. In fact, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Youth and Sports has nominated many young people to participate in NDI programs.

    All funds received by the NDI office in Baku and its representatives have been used for these purposes and no others.

    NDI is registered with the Ministry of Justice of Azeraijan. Consistent with that registration, NDI has submitted all financial statements, as required by law, to the Ministry of Finance. NDI is in full compliance with local laws, including those that apply to financial disclosure.