Former Azerbaijani Minister Denies Corruption Allegations

Elmar Mammadyarov, the longest-serving Azerbaijani foreign minister, has faced numerous allegations of corruption and mismanagement scandals during his 16 years of tenure in 2004-2020.


May 7, 2024

Despite damning documents alleging corruption, former Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has strongly denied any wrongdoing in a recent interview with the local news website

The leaked documents, released in 2020 by Azerbaijani journalist Javanshir Hasanli shortly before Mammadyarov’s dismissal, appear to show that his two sons purchased two multi-million dollar apartments in Manhattan, New York with funds of unknown origin.

“I have 5 kg of documents concerning the bank operations in the U.S. related to these property purchases,” Mammadyarov told the news website. However, U.S. authorities have never commented on the source of the millions used for the real estate acquisitions.

In his interview, Mammadyarov remained defiant, stating “Had I not been a good minister, I would have not served 16 years.” His tenure from 2004 to 2020 was plagued by numerous allegations of corruption, mismanagement, and retaliation against whistleblowing diplomats.

Corruption within Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry is widely viewed as a major factor hindering the country’s foreign policy interests. Mammadyarov’s successor, Jeyhun Bayramov, faces similar accusations of incompetence, corruption, and cronyism by appointing close associates to key positions while retaining some of Mammadyarov’s associates.

Surprisingly, despite the allegations, Mammadyarov continues to find a platform with some Western media outlets like RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani service, which periodically seeks his perspective. Neither RFE/RL’s main office nor its overseeing agency Global Media Agencies provided comment on the matter when contacted.

As the corruption cloud hangs over Azerbaijan’s diplomatic corps, Mammadyarov remains stalwart in denying the documentary evidence against him and his family’s questionable real estate dealings. Whether true accountability will arrive remains uncertain.


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