The US embassy in Baku is finding itself in an awkward situation following Azerbaijan’s October 9 presidential vote as it faces unprecedented claims from both the presidential administration and Ministry of Defense that the US allegedly “advised” the government how much of the vote should be “given” to President Ilham Aliyev.
The claims, emphatically denied by both the embassy and Washington, follow outspoken criticism from the US State Department and international observers about the conduct of the election. Main opposition candidate Jamil Hasanli will continue the focus on the elections when he visits the US next month.
Some analysts claim that the official criticism apparently sparked Azerbaijani officials to turn their anger from the opposition toward Washington, and to add some spicy disclosures to the mix.
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