Leading Lib Dems highlight importance of Azerbaijan to the UK
Press Release: More than 100 attendees at the Liberal Democrat conference at The Grand, Brighton, attended a reception organised by The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) on 24 September.
Lord German of Llanfrechfa, member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Azerbaijan and Lord Wallace of Saltaire, Spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence and Cabinet Office, spoke at the event.
Lord German initially explained the relevance of Azerbaijan to Liberal Democrats, due to its strategic location on the crossroads between East and West, with its northern border on Russia and southern border on Iran. He outlined the country’s enormous economic potential, due to its natural resources, and commented that the UK continues to contribute the greatest proportion of Foreign Domestic Investment (FDI) to the country.
The peer acknowledged that Azerbaijan only regained its independence from the Soviet Union just over 20 years ago, and that the UK should assist with the country’s continuing development. He explained that that the UK could be more supportive regarding the main challenge facing the country, which is the ongoing Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven surrounding regions, which has displaced 875,000 people.
Lord Wallace said that Azerbaijan is extremely important partner to the UK economically, politically and strategically, particularly regarding the transportation of supplies to British forces in Afghanistan. He also discussed the future role of the country as a secure energy source for Europe. Lord Wallace concluded by acknowledging the role of TEAS in increasing the prominence of Azerbaijan on the UK political agenda.