Small country, endless possibilities

Azerbaijan ambassador to U.S. visits UD


12:50 p.m., Dec. 23, 2014--Located strategically between Russia, Iran and Georgia is a place where religion and borders meet, and the cultures of the Middle East and Europe merge. “Azerbaijan has quite a unique location,” said the Republic of Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the United States Elin Süleymanov Emin oğlu.

Suleymanov addressed the University of Delaware community on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at a public lecture on “Changing Dynamics in the Eurasian Region and Azerbaijan,” hosted by the University's Institute for Global Studies.

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Suleymanov’s first-time visit to Delaware marked the start of a relationship with the University of Delaware.  According to Dan Bottomley, associate director of grants and contracts with UD’s Institute for Global Studies, “The University hopes to collaborate with Azerbaijan in future endeavors and looks forward to more conversations with their diplomats.”

The ambassador shared his enthusiasm, stating, “I was very impressed by the Institute for Global Studies and their views, especially their approach to ending violence in childhood. Having the interdisciplinary institute is very beneficial.” 

Suleymanov’s presentation focused on international relations, business, economics, history and culture of Azerbaijan.

For a time Azerbaijan became a part of the Soviet Union but “aspiration remained with the people and in 1991 we reemerged as an independent state,” said Suleymanov. “Independence today is not just because we have gas and oil, but how we use it for the benefits of the country. Like Idaho knows how to market potatoes.” 

Suleymanov answered challenging questions from faculty and staff on topics such as the conflict with Armenia, and the infrastructure gap between the capital, Baku, and some rural cities. According to the ambassador, despite the small size of the country,Azerbaijan has had a large impact through its development of international export pipelines, investments in technology advancement and trade expansion.

Suleymanov was appointed as ambassador in 2011 and previously served as Azerbaijan’s first consul general to Los Angeles with the rank of envoy extraordinary and plenipotentiary. 

A career diplomat, Suleymanov worked as the first secretary and press attaché at the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Washington, D.C., then served as the senior counselor at the Foreign Relations Department of the presidential administration of Azerbaijan.

Before joining diplomatic service, Suleymanov worked with the United Nations high commissioner for refugees in Azerbaijan and Glaverbel Czech, a leading manufacturing company in East-Central Europe, as well as the Open Media Research Institute in Prague.

Article by Elizabeth Adams

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