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U.S. envoy responses to reactions to his provocative interview

23 May 2014 14:11 (UTC+04:00)
U.S. envoy responses to reactions to his provocative interview

By Sara Rajabova

The U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Richard Morningstar has responded to Azerbaijani officials' harsh reactions to his interview with the Azadlig radio.

"Everyone has the right to express his own opinion, and one can agree and disagree with it," Morningstar said.

"I have read with interest the many responses to my RFE/RL interview. Many agreed and many disagreed with what I said," Morningstar noted adding that he respects the right of every person to express his/her opinion.

He stressed that his intention was to state how he sees many issues facing Azerbaijan today. "If the result of the interview is good-faith, discussion on these issues among government officials and members of civil society, that alone, would make the interview worthwhile."

Ambassador Morningstar also emphasized that he is a longtime friend of Azerbaijan.

"This country has made tremendous progress in many areas over the past two decades. I am certain there will be even more progress over the next 20 years," he added.

Azerbaijani official criticized the U.S. Ambassador's recent statements as attempts to interfere in the domestic and foreign policies of the country.

The officials called any interference in Azerbaijan's internal affairs unacceptable.

They said these statements meet neither today's spirit of relations between the two countries, nor the requirements of the Vienna Convention regarding diplomatic relations adopted in 1961.

Several media outlets even reported that Morningstar was summoned to the foreign ministry in connection with his negative comments against Azerbaijan in an interview with Azadliq radio.

The embassy said on May 23 that Ambassador Morningstar has not been summoned to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.

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