High time to declare US ambassador persona non grata
    Mr. Libby, take your suitcase and leave for Washington

    ANALYTICS  05 May 2024 - 12:06

    Samir Valiev

    British Ambassador Harold George Nicolson, in his book entitled “The Diplomat” published in 1941, wrote that diplomats of the 16th–18th centuries often gave rise to suspicion.

    “They incited and financed uprisings, they interfered in the internal affairs of the countries where they served, they lied, they spied, they stole,” he wrote.

    Although it is already the 21st century, diplomats from some Western countries (and other countries) continue following the notorious traditions of their predecessors.

    This also applies to ambassadors accredited in Azerbaijan. This time we will talk about US ambassador to Azerbaijan Mark Libby.

    First, I would like to remind you that Libby has begun working in Azerbaijan recently. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev accepted his credentials in January 2024.

    Then the ambassador said that he would do his best to develop bilateral relations.

    For more than three years, US ambassadors - first Lee Litzenberger, and now Mark Libby  for unknown reasons (only they and their leadership in the US Department of State know) have categorically refused to visit the pearl of Karabakh – Shusha city.

    Azerbaijan does not understand these reasons. If the US recognises the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, then what is the problem? However, the ambassadors voice ridiculous excuses.

    “It is clear that the returned territories are slightly different. Even more coordination is required. However, I don’t want to be a participant in a show organised somewhere. So when the time comes, I will do it," Libby cynically stated in a conversation with the representatives of the Azerbaijani service of Radio Liberty.

    What does "slightly different" mean? Every inch of liberated land is valuable and important to Azerbaijanis, and Shusha has a special place in our hearts. Ambassador Libby, if he had not explored Azerbaijan in advance, should have explored it here. What "show" is he talking about?

    That is, a trip to Shusha, liberated from the Armenian occupation, is a show organised by someone? By whom? By Azerbaijan? Why do we need this? We returned or own lands and are now actively restoring them.

    If the US diplomats are against visiting Shusha, then hell with them.

    “Shusha does not need their participation, they can come or not. In the future, we will not invite them here. However their [US and French diplomats] absence once again shows the mission they carried out during the negotiation process that has lasted for the last 30 years within the OSCE Minsk Group,” Assistant of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmet Hajiyev said.

    However, Libby not only ignored recognition of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. He has met with opposition journalist Khadija Ismayilova, who is very popular in the West, allegedly for her “journalistic activity”, but in reality for her rabid criticism of the Azerbaijani authorities.

    Of course, after the meeting, which can be regarded as the US support and a guide to action, we can expect slander against Azerbaijan and the authorities soon.

    Libby, in a conversation with a group of journalists, said that he was greatly concerned that “pressure has been put on independent media and civil society in Azerbaijan since November 2023”.

    Is not this undisguised interference in Azerbaijan’s internal affairs? Who gave Libby the right to make such unfounded accusations?

    Is not the US ambassador concerned about his government which has been persecuting Julian Assange for his investigative journalism since 2010? Proceeding from Nicolson’s words, diplomats often gave rise to suspicion. They incited and financed uprisings, interfered in the internal affairs of the countries where they served, they lied, spied, and stole.

    It seems that Libby became the prototype of the heroes of the book by the English diplomat.

    In this context, we would like to remind Libby and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken about the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, adopted on April 18, 1961.

    In its Article 41, the duties of diplomats are indicated.

    “Without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, all people using such privileges and immunities are required to respect the laws and regulations of the country where they serve. They are also obliged not to interfere in the internal affairs of this country,” the convention says.

    That is, a foreign diplomat cannot interfere in the internal affairs of a country where he serves. What about Libby? Can the ambassador of the “world hegemon” do everything? Maybe in some other country he can, but not in Azerbaijan, where no one is allowed to interfere in its internal affairs.

    So, proceeding from the above-mentioned aspects, maybe the Azerbaijani corresponding ministry should expel Libby? Moreover, this item is also indicated in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, in particular in Article 9.

    “The country in which ambassador serves may at any time, without being required to give reasons for its decision, notify the accrediting country that the head of the mission or any member of the diplomatic staff of the mission is persona non grata or that any other member of the staff of the mission is undesirable,” the convention says.

    “In this case, the accrediting country must accordingly recall the person or terminate his/her functions in the mission. A person may be declared persona non grata or undesirable before arriving in the territory of the country where he/she serves. If the accrediting country refuses to fulfill or fails to fulfill within a reasonable period of time its obligations envisaged in paragraph 1 of this article, the country where the ambassador serves may refuse to recognize the person as a member of the diplomatic mission,” the convention says.

    This means suitcase, airport, Washington.


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