1209471_Zaur

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Date 2010-12-06 06:37:06
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-------- Original Message --------

Subject: Re: Zaur
Date: Sun, 05 Dec 2010 23:21:48 -0600
From: Lauren Goodrich
To: Zaur Hasanov
CC: Lauren Goodrich

Hello Zaur!
Here are my answers. I hope they reach you in time. Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.
Lauren

We are also thinking on wikileaks in Azerbaijan. What's your take on it, I mean of Stratfor?

This latest round of WikiLeaks of more than 250,000 U.S. State Department diplomatic cables has revealed very little that was not previously known. There has not been a single Top Secret report like the Pentagon Papers of 1971. Each of the WikiLeaks releases have instead been fairly low-level reports of even lower levels of classification-despite the cables being classified.

The leaks will not affect much in ways of operation, but are instead diplomatically embarrassing. The cables reveal what is widely known in the world - that countries' representatives act one way and say another. The cables cut through much of the diplomatic and theatrical dialogues seen in public and instead lay out much of the reality between countries. But such frank discussions are meant to be held in confidence since there are larger games and balances to be held outside of a bilateral discussion. This is how diplomacy and the real back-channel negotiations work.

Do you see in a purposeful leak by US officials or it is happened really?

The U.S. at this time can not afford to have such a scandal as its relationships around the world are already strained, so STRATFOR believes that the leaks are genuine instead of purposefully orchestrated.

Also what do you think Azerbaijan can expect from the leak? There are tons of stories not published yet. The leak already irritates officials here. If wikileak will continue to publish stories about high ranking officials it can damage the relations between US and Azerbaijan.

The WikiLeaks on Azerbaijan were interesting in that there were two sets of leaks that will effect Azerbaijan's public perception.

The first set of important leaks is the US officials in Baku comparing President Ilham Aliyev to the "Godfather", saying that "the Aliyev administration has developed an 'organised crime' image in some quarters, leading some analysts to see Ilham Aliyev at times in a mafia-like role." This is a definite blast against the leadership in Azerbaijan at a time when the U.S. State department was already struggling with getting an Ambassador sent to Baku. So this leak could be another sign to Baku of the U.S.'s lack of taking Azerbaijan seriously. Interestingly, this terminology of comparing leaders to the mafia has been seen in may of the cables concerning former Soviet states, giving the impression that the State Department perhaps does not understand how governments in the region operate.

The other set of leaks that STRATFOR finds interesting is those where President Aliyev discusses Baku's balance of powers in the region. How Azerbaijan is not against normalizing relations with Armenia pending a resolution on Nagorn-Karabakh, but how Russia isn't playing the a negative role in the process. Also, how Baku isn't tied to Ankara. Such leaks are a sign that Azerbaijan isn't solely dependent on the U.S. or Turkey and does have a constructive relationship with Russia. Such leaks reinforce to the U.S. that it can not dictate Azerbaijan's future, since Baku does have options of other major players in the region to leverage into a better relationship with Washington.

On 12/3/10 3:38 AM, Zaur Hasanov wrote:

Hey Lauren

Hope you are fine.

We are also thinking on wikileaks in Azerbaijan. What's your take on it, I mean of Stratfor?

Do you see in a purposeful leak by US officials or it is happened really?

Also what do you think Azerbaijan can expect from the leak? There are tons of stories not published yet. The leak already irritates officials here. If wikileak will continue to publish stories about high ranking officials it can damage the relations between US and Azerbaijan.

Have a good day, Zaur

--
Lauren Goodrich
Senior Eurasia Analyst
STRATFOR
T: 512.744.4311
F: 512.744.4334
[email protected]
www.stratfor.com

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