RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service, Radio Azadliq's blitz-interview with Richard Kauzlarich, the former U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan (1994-1997).Q: The official Baku openly supported Ukraine's sovereignty during the recent UN vote. What is your rection?
A:I hope that Azerbaijan voted with the West for the right reasons. If so then this could be a step in the right direction that the regime missed taking in Vilnius last fall.
Q: There are unconfirmed reports that the US Secretary of State, John Kerry may visit Baku in Summer. What should be Washington's message to President Ilham Aliyev?
A: Secretary Kerry -- should he visit Baku ought to visit Yerevan as well. He needs to deliver the same message to both parties in the N-K process that he delivered to the Israelis and Palestinians: get to the negotiating table now and get serious about settling the N-K issue. This lack of progress has gone on too long and the US (and our Western Minsk Group partners) have invested too much to let business as usual continue. There are limits to the time and energy we are prepared to devote to a process that has not made any progress.The second message in Baku ought to be that Baku needs to make progress on human rights, media freedom and democracy.
Q: Do you see any hope for progress in Nagorno- Karabagh peace process?
A: I see no reason for optimism on Nagonro-Karabagh.
Q: Can Baku rely on Western support in case of increased pressure from Moscow?
A: I need to know more about Baku's stance on its external orientation. The regime has wasted time -- seeming to be more interested in the Eurovision Song Contest than plotting a future course for Azerbaijan firmly aligned with the West. This is more than gas and oil. It is about values. That needs to be the basis for US and Western support.