Tuesday, April 21

An "expert" mouthpiece

Peter Tase is advising Washington "to play a more effective role in providing a solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and withdraw itself from taking actions based on the manipulations and fabrications undertaken by Armenian public relations organizations". Now while I agree that a stronger stance on NK is needed I cannot fully understand where does Tase lead with his "manipulations by Armenian public relations organizations" argument? 

A number of international rights watchdogs criticized Azerbaijan for the unprecedented crackdown taking place in Azerbaijan against its most prominent rights activists and advocates. And these are not new criticisms since the country's rights and freedoms record has been on the low for a long time now.  A number of local observers (those who can still say something at least) have shed light on the on-going intimidation and threats against alternative views in the country. Those not able to do so any longer are either in jail, arrested, silenced, intimidated or fled the country. Does Tase imply that all these organizations, individuals and communities are Armenian public relation organizations? 

But then, I looked at Tase's profile on Foreign Policy News. And the list of his articles on Azerbaijan explain why Tase believes in the theory strongly advocated by Azerbaijani authorities. Most of his recent work is bout Nakhchivan. I was pleasantly surprised to be honest to see his pictures from there. Because Nakhchivan is not the most open place where visitors (let alone foreigners) can travel easily. Tase must have been a very special guest to travel there and have such a wonderful time. But he has written about Azerbaijan in 2014 as well. While he has highlighted Azerbaijan's leading role in "advocating peace and humanitarianism", Tase forgot to mention that this humanitarian and peaceful nation jailed some of its most prominent activists in 2014.

The funniest of it all is that in Azerbaijani media he is presented as an expert on international relations. Hmm... I think Tase must do his research a bit better if he is opting for being the mouthpiece of Azerbaijan.

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