Baku, January 20, AZERTAC
The American Spectator newspaper has published an article headlined “Trump can make American-Azerbaijani ties great again” by Jacob Kamaras, former editor in chief of the Jewish News Service. The article says that while the Obama administration has consistently condemned Israeli settlement construction during the last eight years, the administration has failed to take a stand against the illegal Armenian settlements in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. “Most recently, Secretary Kerry angered Azerbaijan in October when he claimed both Armenia and Azerbaijan “aren’t ready” to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev responded that blaming both sides for the conflict amounts to “showing overt support for Armenia’s policy of occupation.” “When President-elect Donald Trump assumes office Jan. 20, rather than taking his cue from current U.S. policy, he would well-served taking a page from Israel’s playbook in crafting his policy toward Azerbaijan,” says Kamaras. “While Obama has offended U.S. allies like Israel and Azerbaijan with a policy of fierce neutrality, Trump can work to restore those relationships to the unwavering level they deserve.” “With a proper understanding of the benefits of deep ties with Azerbaijan, Trump can take at least one step toward returning America to a foreign policy of leadership — not leading from behind. To rebuild the free world’s trust in the U.S., Trump must start by rebuilding trust with important allies such as Israel and Azerbaijan.”
The article also hails tolerance towards Jews in Azerbaijan. “Azerbaijan’s Jewish community consists of the so-called “Mountain Jews” — who have lived in the area since the 5th century AD. There are also Ashkenazi Jews, mostly living in Baku, who fled Tsarist pogroms to settle in safety in a Muslim-majority nation. Anti-Semitism has not historically been a problem in Azerbaijan, and that remains the case today, with local Jews reporting that their presence is not merely tolerated, but celebrated.”
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