Washington briefing: Turkey, Azerbaijan boosters hold Washington events

by Emil Sanamyan

Published: Friday May 22, 2009

Washington - Hardly a week goes by in the U.S. capital without a public event intended to extol the importance of Turkey to the world. Less frequently, but also on regular basis, the Azerbaijani government's mercenaries gather to discuss ways to ingratiate that eccentric regime to the Washington establishment.

On May 14 Rep. Robert Wexler (D.-Fla.), chair of the House Europe Subcommittee and co-chair of the congressional Turkey caucus, held what has become a biannual hearing on Turkey. This time the hearing was titled, "The United States and Turkey: A Model Partnership."

The hearing brought together Ian Lesser of the U.S. German Marshall Fund, David Phillips of the Atlantic Council of the United States, and Stephen Flanagan of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who testified to the partnership's virtues.

Also on May 14, an event, "Azerbaijan and the West: Strategic Partnership at Eurasia's Crossroads," included Glen Howard and Vlad Socor of the Jamestown Foundation, a local think tank; Brenda Shaffer of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's Diplomatic Academy; and Dan Fata, until recently a deputy assistant secretary of defense dealing with the Caucasus and now vice president at Cohen Group, a lobby shop run by former defense secretary Bill Cohen.

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