The invitation by President Barack Obama to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to attend the Nuclear Security Summit 2016 is a reflection of Azerbaijan’s strategic importance, religious tolerance, reform-oriented economy and stature as a rising star within the broader Middle East, says Rob Sobhani, the US Caspian Group Holdings CEO.
The Nuclear Security Summit 2016 will be held in Washington, D.C., March 31 – April 1.
“Most importantly, inviting President Aliyev to Washington signals the importance of Azerbaijan on the global stage,” Sobhani told Trend in an email March 29. “Azerbaijan is no longer a ‘former republic of the Soviet Union’, but a responsible, trusted and reliable partner of the community of nations.”
He also said that President Aliyev’s wise foreign policy of balancing Azerbaijan’s neighbors, their ambitions and competing interests is another reason for the invitation.
“Azerbaijan maintains normal ties to the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia despite underlying tensions,” noted Sobhani, adding that Azerbaijan has also pursued a path of peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict despite the Armenian occupation.
“This desire to settle the conflict peacefully is appreciated in Washington,” he noted. “It demonstrates responsible leadership by President Ilham Aliyev.”
“Like a flower that blossoms after winter turns to spring, thanks to President Aliyev, Azerbaijan has blossomed into a world power,” added Sobhani.
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