Prince Andrew, Duke of York, British prince, Rear Admiral.
Prince Andrew: “Azerbaijan is a country of “great opportunities” and the more British politicians and commercial enterprises come into contact with colleagues from Azerbaijan, the greater will be the material benefits.”
SOURCES AND PRESS
However, the casket opens simply. As another newspaper, The Telegraph, writes: “The Duke of York continues to have a personal interest in Azerbaijan.” In particular, it is closely connected with the golf resort on the Caspian Sea, but, of course, the “personal interests” of the Queen’s second son are much more extensive.
In Baku, the prince is treated in a royal way. For example, Ilham Aliyev took him to his own luxury spa, which employs a blind Russian masseur described as the best in the world. It is not by chance that “over the past five years, Prince Andrew visited President Aliyev eight times.” He also invites the British Ambassador to Baku to Buckingham Palace, demanding reports on the situation in Azerbaijan.
“We can only hope that Prince Andrew … uses these” private meetings “at Buckingham Palace to convince the Ambassador of the need to express serious concern over the numerous violations of human rights in Azerbaijan.How naive can some people be!” said Natalia Nozadze, Amnesty International representative.
According to the Guardian, the Duke is referred to on his visits as “the dear guest,” by Azerbaijani newspapers. Prince Andrew intends to visit Baku in the summer.
On Monday, after Prince Andrew lobbied in favor of building up business cooperation between Britain and Azerbaijan, a storm of negative publications swept around his name. The newspaper called Azerbaijan an authoritarian regime in Central Asia, which is accused of repressing the demonstrators.
Despite concerns about his willingness to establish business relations with foreign dictators, the prince met with a member of the Conservative Party Mark Field, who heads a parliamentary friendship group with Azerbaijan, and asked for lobbying for an increase in British investment in Azerbaijan. Field told “The Guardian” that the prince “feels it is a Cinderella country that has tremendous opportunities.”
The behavior of the prince will raise questions about why he uses his position – defending British or foreign interests.
Field and Buckingham Palace refuted the assumption that the prince takes steps based on the interests of the leadership of Azerbaijan.
British Prince Andrew and his Baku ties
The close attention of the British edition “The Independent” has been drawn to long-standing links between Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, who, as the newspaper writes, “is called one of the most brutal and corrupt leaders in the world”, the Russian service of the BBC reports. As The Independent reports, recently Prince Andrew was officially the UK’s special representative for trade and investment.
Officially, the prince had to promote the British business abroad. However, the newspaper notes that in practice, his activities “brought confusion and embarrassment to the government.” “Over the past five years, Prince Andrew visited President Aliyev eight times. According to sources in Buckingham Palace, all his affairs with Azerbaijan and other countries accused of human rights violations have been going on in the British government in recent years, “writes the Independent.
“Local media in Azerbaijan have speculated that he has business links in the region, including a golf resort on the Caspian Sea. Buckingham Palace has, however, denied this.” writes the publication. Even after retiring, as the Independent has learned, the Duke of York continues to demand reports on the situation in Azerbaijan directly from the British ambassador to Baku, with whom he recently held a face-to-face meeting, inviting him to the palace.
“We can only hope that Prince Andrew … uses these” private meetings “at Buckingham Palace to convince the Ambassador of the need to express serious concern over the numerous violations of human rights in Azerbaijan. How naive can some people be! ” said Natalia Nozadze, Amnesty International representative.
British newspapers on the connections of Prince Andrew in Azerbaijan
The British media are still wondering, for whose benefit the British special representative for foreign trade and investment, Prince Andre acts. Despite the scandal, the royal son continues to conduct his lobbying activities and plan new trips, but if new revelations show up, he may have to leave his post.
As The Guardian found out, on Monday the Duke of York asked MP Mark Field, Conservative MP and chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on Azerbaijan, to help boost British business with Azerbaijan, which was accused of using torture against protesters. Field told about this on Tuesday. According to him, Prince Andrew said that he considers Azerbaijan a country of “great opportunities, and the more British politicians and commercial enterprises come into contact with colleagues from Azerbaijan, the greater will be the material benefits.”
It is reported that the next visit to Azerbaijan (the eighth since 2005, specifies The Guardian) is planned for Prince Andrew for June. He has already dined with President Ilham Aliyev several times, and in local media he is often called “dear guest”. In this regard, there will be new questions as to whose interests he defends at his post – British business or foreign leaders, for trips to which the government pays him hundreds of thousands of pounds annually,” writes the author of the article, Robert Booth. Field, meanwhile, has no doubt that Prince Andrew acts in the interests of British companies.
Moreover, the Duke of York’s travel program is “compiled by the Foreign Office and the UK Department of Trade and Investments”, but approved by a special committee for monarch visits under the government. When a scandal broke around his figure, Prime Minister David Cameron and Finance Minister George Osborne “offered the Prince every possible support.”
“In some cases, the duke acts on his own behalf, remaining a special representative of the government for foreign trade and investment, but without instructions from the Foreign Office and the Department of Trade and Investments of the UK. Financing of his travels is not always carried out from the country’s budget. In some cases it provides grounds for concern that “the receiving party expects some kind of reward for its hospitality.”
“The prince may be forced to leave his post,” the Daily Mail believes. In the opinion of the high-ranking source of the newspaper, Prince Andrew “will make a decision in the next 48 hours or so.” He probably hopes that there will be some major news item, and he will disappear from the front pages.” The author of the publication Fei Schlesinger suggests that behind some recent news flashed in the press are just the efforts of Prince Andrew’s aides. At the end of the third week of painful revelations, Queen Elizabeth II summoned a “beloved son” to Buckingham Palace, where she spent an hour with him on a cake and sandwiches with a cucumber, “leaving no doubt about the dangers of his situation.” According to reports, the Duke of York considers what is happening with him “vendetta.”
“Distraught” father of the Azerbaijani political prisoner “as afather to a father” begs the Duke of York “to use his ties to the very top of the regime,” to rescue his son from prison, “- reports the Daily Mail. This is the journalist Eynulla Fatullayev, who in April 2007 was given eight and a half years in prison for “defamation, terrorism, tax evasion and incitement to racial hatred.” This happened after he published a series of articles criticizing the regime. Under pressure of the European Court of Human Rights these charges against Fatullayev were dropped, but by that time he had already served time for drug possession – writes correspondent Daniel Martin.
His father, Emin, said in an interview with the newspaper: “The authorities of Azerbaijan are persecuting my son for writing the truth, they defamed his name, declared him a drug addict, took his freedom from him. All I want is for my son to be released from prison. They did not do anything wrong. He was a good journalist. Prince Andrew could really help my son.He is friends with President Aliyev, so maybe he will listen to him. As a father to a father, I beg Prince Andrew to talk with the president Aliyev and demand my son’s release from him.“
Source: radioazadlyg.org inopressa.ru