Azeri consul general gives interview to KFI 649 radio

Azeri consul general gives interview to KFI 649 radio
# 13 June 2007 14:08 (UTC +04:00)
Consul General of Azerbaijan to Los Angeles, US Elin Suleymanov gave interview to famous radio of California KFI 640, APA’s US bureau reports. Elin Suleymanov was the guest of Bill Handell’s morning talk-show and answered questions about Azerbaijan and the South Caucasus.
He noted that official Baku pursues a balanced foreign policy and added that Azerbaijan is in close relations with Muslim and non-Muslim countries.
The consul general said religion is separate from the state in Azerbaijan and people first of all feel that they are citizens and then realize their belonging to any religion and nationality.
Asked if Azerbaijan faces objections of other Muslim states from recognizing Israel as a state the consul general said.
“Azerbaijan chaired Organization of the Islamic Conference this year. We do not want to hurt our Muslim friends, but Azerbaijan has its policy and principles. Israel is a close friend of Israel. There is a strong Jewish community in Azerbaijan. A lot of Azerbaijanis and Jews grown up in Azerbaijan moved to Israel. Azerbaijan-Israel Association has been established recently and we will change our principles regarding this country,” he said.
Asked about the reason of Azerbaijan’s pro-western policy, supporting the US, and participation in the composition of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan Elin Suleymanov said that Azerbaijan has determined its pro-western policy in the mid 90s.
“It was the demand of the then political leadership and civilians. The first democratic republic in the Muslim world was established in Azerbaijan in 1918. Women got the right to vote in Azerbaijan a year before the US in 1919,” he said.
The consul general also touched upon the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and said that the problem was created by the forces disapproving Azerbaijan’s independent policy.
At the end of the program, Elin Suleymanov said that the aim of his activity in California is to make Azerbaijan recognized.
“Our main aim is to inform people of Azerbaijan, friend of the US. We live in a very complicated region. Azerbaijan borders on Russia in the north and Iran in the south. This is not an easy neighborhood,” he said.
KFI 640 is the most outstanding radio of California with 3 million-audience. /APA/
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