Monday, September 01, 2014


Transmission

U.S. Envoy To Baku Takes A Bow

Richard Morningstar
Richard Morningstar
A photograph of the new U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar paying his respects at a monument to the late President Heydar Aliyev is both ruffling feathers and massaging egos inside the country.
 
The photo (see it here) was taken on September 3 and shows Morningstar laying flowers and bowing his head before a towering statue of Aliyev in Baku's Fizuli Park. (Heydar Aliyev is known within Azerbaijan as the Great Father, national savior, and founder of the modern Azerbaijani state.)

The photograph was taken on the same day that Morningstar presented his credentials to current President Ilham Aliyev, Heydar's son.

The pro-democracy website Azeri Report writes that Morningstar's apparent bow to Aliyev "set a precedent" for U.S. diplomats.
 
A spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in Baku described Morningstar's visit to the monument as merely part of standard protocol for new ambassadors to Azerbaijan. The spokesperson told RFE/RL there was no additional meaning behind the bow.

The photograph of Morningstar was posted on the popular Azerbaijan-Azerbaycan Facebook page and elicted a wide range of comments:
 
How long you will be bending in front of him?
 
One has to be proud to see how American bows to Azeri.
 
They don't show the respect, they just need our oil
 
One can bow only to God. People should not bow to people or to statues.
 
He is not Azeri. He is an American, most democratic nation in the world.
 
The bow row recalls the hubbub over U.S. President Barack Obama's diplomatic pas de deux when he appeared to bow to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in 2009.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Darwin Jamgochian from: America
September 04, 2012 17:21
I have a question about Ambassador Morningstar, the latest ambassador to Azerbaijan? Does the State Department know the song "Gentile on mind"?.

by: Bentley from: US
September 04, 2012 20:55
I think you mean "faux pas," not "pas de deux."

by: Sey from: World
September 04, 2012 23:19
"He is not Azeri. He is an American, most democratic nation in the world."

Funny, this one sounds like told by Jack.

by: Parvin Kouliev
September 05, 2012 01:55
I am just curious if bowing in front of the statue was part of a new protocol? It is difficult sometimes to understand some diplomats who grew all their lives with values of a democratic society. If Heydar Aliyev was really a great leader who brought so much happiness for his nation, maybe I would understand such behavior. Even bowing to good leaders is still considered a cult of personality. I can understand if somebody bowes in front of the Memorial of People died in September 11, 2011 or the Memorial of Soldiers and Officers who died protecting citizens worldwide, but bowing to please dictatorship regime and clan members means losing dignity and self-esteem.

If paying Baksheesh is actually considered a form of political corruption and bribery in the Middle East, bowing to Dictators, 'Kings', 'Sultans' and even their statues, while trying to kiss their 'holy' hands is actually called a slave mentality and sleaziness in open and democratic societies.

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
September 05, 2012 08:35
It is not clear what is the problem here?
Man expressed, his reverence and respect to the other person -who lived, worked and died and now immortalized in the monument...
What is wrong with?.....
------------------------------------------
"One can boy only to god...." seriously?...

We should start to explain what it is and where he lives...can somebody saw him, heard his voice (schizophrenic patients please do not worry!!).?...
Can somebody give the address where he lives or lived?
All speak of a god who was not and which no one can find-))))

I encourage all normal people bow to Pussy Riot..bow to girls whom Putin threw in torture chambers...
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
September 05, 2012 13:10
`Prez.Haidar Alievich is known as the greatest azeri-kurdish communist soviet kgb general,with more than 60 years of faithful service to the soviets who crushed the first independent azeri state,thats why he is a ``national saviour`` and founder of the modern most demockratic azeri sultanate of Ilhamistan.He killed tens of thousands azeris ,sending tens of thousand others to sunny Siberia for reeducation and free holidays under the sun-that`s why is he is the father of modern azeristan-the most demockratic sultanate on earth since Chenghiz khan`s just as demockratic one -EU leaders,please take note and accept quickly az.as a full fledged EU member without any stupid pre-conditions.The statue the azeri people built for him should be taken down as it is not big enough-a new one shoul be built as big as the Empire state building and it should be made of gold,with diamond morning and platinum evening stars shining brightly and showing us the way to the great future of world demockracy.All western and eastern ambassadors will come by their own free will to clean,polish and take every demockratic care of the monument-otherwise no cheap oil,billions of $$$ arms purchases or the best child brides money can buy.Well well well we all thought nobody could do worse than former embarrassador Sir Mathew Bryza khan bur good old Rich M.S.proved us all wrong...one thing is for sure...Richard will be a lot richer when he leaves his post to -well just see what Bryza is doing now.And Vah Vah,Vahtang what is wrong here is your grammar and the Pokhmelin pills you regularly forget to take before you start wrining crap on I-net.And I will tell you the address of the One only schizophrenic patients can see -he lives in the house of the greatest necktie eater this world has ever seen.Send all our greetings to your granny and be quick to build a monument for the Pussy Girls-the latest poor victims of russian totalitarism.
In Response

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
September 05, 2012 15:26
I never thought that the camel able to speak..
It is possible that when the camel was used to show tourists the pit, in which others camels live, one of them has mastered English.

Another thing is that a camel who "swam" on the Radio Liberty has come a long way from the pit to the radio-clearly inadequate.
.
The Moscow zoo just need talking camels...
they will feed you with hay -do not worry and you're going to tell to Moscow kiddies about Kurdistan...

and leave alone my grandmother,-she died when your father was not born...
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
September 06, 2012 08:11
You would bow to Stalin, wouldn't you Vakh tang?
In Response

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
September 06, 2012 11:14
Here we must recall that this is his personal matter, whom bow and whom not ..
Stalin had nothing to do with..
аnd all the fuss raised by аrmenians, because he bowed to аzeri...If he had bowed to Hitler, the аrmenians would not say a word ..

That's the whole point of this history, dude-))))))

by: Vicky from: los angeles
September 18, 2012 10:59
Vakhtang, no true Armenian, first and foremost, would've wrote what you wrote in a public public forum like this because his/her national pride wouldn't allow him/her to do so. You either don't know your history or is someone who shouldn't be calling himself an Armenian. Yes, Armenians would have wrote against anyone who will bow to Hitler. However, you will not find any statue of Hitler any where in the world. I don't think you know who you are and I find that extremely sad. In any case Camel Anaturk, a Kurd from Kurdistan and Parvin Kouliev, I don't know where is he from, were much more objective than an Armenian from Moscow. Spend some time on your national history and spend sometime to find your national identity.

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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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