17 October 2005 -- A leading Azerbaijani opposition figure is expected to return to his homeland today after nearly 10 years in exile.
Rasul Quliyev has lived in the United States since 1996. He is a former speaker of the parliament and the current chairman of the opposition Democratic Party of Azerbaijan.
Quliyev is wanted in Azerbaijan on embezzlement charges and officials have threatened to arrest Quliyev should he return. Quliyev, who is registered to run in upcoming parliamentary elections in November, denies any wrongdoing.
Members of his party say they will be on hand at Baku airport today to welcome him home. Interior Minister Ramil Usubov urged journalists and diplomats not to go to the airport today to be on hand for Quliyev's return, warning "there may be clashes."
See also: Exiles’ Participation In Election Campaign Uncertain Despite Registration