War threat after axe murderer returns home to freedom and a hero’s welcome

2012. szeptember 18. 13:33

Adam LeBor
The Times
It seems that the veterans at the foreign ministry have been sidelined in favour of a new diplomatic side-channel set up by Viktor Orbán and his ultra-loyalist protégé Péter Szijjártó.

"Patrick Ventrell, a spokesman for the US State Department, said of Safarov’s pardoning: 'We are expressing our deep concern to Azerbaijan regarding this action and seeking an explanation. We are also seeking further details from Hungary regarding the decision to transfer Mr Safarov to Azerbaijan.' Russia, a key mediator, said that the actions of the Hungarian and Azerbaijani governments 'contradict internationally brokered' peace efforts. Azerbaijan dismissed American criticism. Elmar Mammadyarov, the Foreign Minister, told William Burns, Deputy Secretary of State, that it must be 'taken into account' that Safarov was a refugee from Nagorno-Karabakh and that the real issue was the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the enclave.

Hungary said that it had been misled by the Azerbaijani Government. Officials said they had assurances from Azerbaijan that Safarov would not be released on parole until he served serve at least 25 years. Hungary’s blunder is surprising, say analysts, as it has has a solid reputation as an honest broker. It was one of the few countries to keep an embassy in Tripoli during the Libyan civil war. It secured the release of four Western journalists and a Dutch model who was an ex-girlfriend of one of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s sons. By the end of the war Budapest was representing 50 nations.

However, it seems that the veterans at the foreign ministry have been sidelined in favour of a new diplomatic side-channel set up by Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister, and his ultra-loyalist protégé Péter Szijjártó, the new Minister for External Economic Relations."

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