Czech Government Remains Silent on Alleged Corruption Links of Azerbaijani Officials

The offices of both high Czech officials, Prime Minister Petr Fiala (R) and Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský (L), declined to comment on whether corruption and transparency issues were discussed with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and his delegation members during their recent visit to the Czech Republic. idnes.cz

 

April 27, 2024

The Czech Republic’s Foreign Ministry and the Office of the Prime Minister have remained tight-lipped after failing to respond to inquiries from The Azeri Herald regarding their recent engagement with Azerbaijani officials facing serious allegations of corruption, mismanagement, and self-enrichment.

The lack of response from Prague comes after The Herald sent a media inquiry to both offices seeking clarification on the rationale behind engaging with the Azerbaijani delegation led by Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov during his recent visit.The visit, which included meetings with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský, has raised eyebrows due to the serious allegations of corruption and financial irregularities surrounding the Azerbaijani officials.

Multiple Azeri media reports have surfaced detailing accusations against Minister Bayramov, including the alleged use of his position to promote his family’s company, nepotism, and cronyism. One of Bayramov’s delegation members, Mammad Ahmadzada, has also faced allegations of financial irregularities during his tenure as Azerbaijan’s envoy to Italy. Ahmadzada is reportedly a protégé of former Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, who himself has been associated with corruption scandals.

Moreover, concerns have been raised about potential conflicts of interest surrounding Azerbaijan’s current Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Adish Mammadov, who allegedly owes his position to being the son-in-law of an influential figure in Azerbaijan.

In its inquiry,The Herald sought to understand whether the Czech Republic raised concerns about transparency, integrity, and human rights during meetings with Minister Bayramov and his delegation. This line of questioning is especially relevant given the stated principles of the Czech Foreign Minister’s Pirate Party, which emphasizes progressivism and transparency.

The West appears divided in their approach and engagement with Azerbaijan and its officials involved in corruption. While the US Congress and European Parliament mull sanctions and adopt resolutions accusing Azerbaijan of mismanagement and alleged poor human rights records, the US-funded RFE/RL and EU officials, along with the Czech government, engage with them while refusing to comment on the rationale or provide information on whether the corruption allegations were raised.

By declining to respond, the Czech Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office have effectively joined the ranks of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), which is based in Prague, and the European Union’s External Action Service, both of which have also recently turned a deaf ear to comment requests from The Azeri Herald regarding RFE/RL’s decision to provide a platform to Mammadyarov and the EU’s engagement with Hikmat Hajiyev, a presidential aide in Azerbaijan who has also faced corruption allegations.

The silence from Czech authorities raises questions about their commitment to transparency and accountability when engaging with foreign officials tainted by serious allegations of misconduct and self-enrichment.

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