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Stanley A. Weiss writing in the "IHT" about how Azerbaijan is key to the Caucasus.

To be sure, this country is no democracy; the 46-year-old Aliyev learned well from his authoritarian father, who ruled Azerbaijan both as a Soviet Republic and after independence. Indeed, not long before our delegation arrived, Aliyev claimed re-election with 89 percent of the vote.

It's always nice to see Azerbaijan on the international agenda, but a shame that Weiss is so soft on Azerbaijan's poor democratic record: the dubious elections, hamstrung opposition, corruption, restricted media environment.

Nor any mention of the government's recent plans to take RFE/RL, Voice of America, and the BBC off the airwaves.

-- Luke Allnutt

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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