Dismissed Azerbaijani foreign minister Mammadyarov prohibited from leaving the country
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov has been put on the no-fly list in connection with an ongoing criminal investigation into corruption in the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry since April 2020.
Mammadyarov served as minister for 15 years and was considered an influential figure in the country when, unexpectedly for everyone, he was dismissed on July 16, 2020.
The dismissal was preceded by an angry statement by President Ilham Aliyev that on July 12, during fighting on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, everyone was at work, except for the minister of foreign affairs.
After Mammadyarov was dismissed, Jeyhun Bayramov was appointed the new foreign minister. This was also a surprise to the public and observers, since Bayramov has no diplomatic experience.
Elmar Mammadyarov himself told reporters that he was not involved in the investigation, and in general false information has been spread about him.
“I am resting at my dacha in Süvälana. I have no intention of leaving the country and I have nowhere to go. Where will I go during a pandemic?”, said the ex-minister.
There have been a number of recent arrests concerning activities related to the foreign ministry.
On August 13, the ambassador of Azerbaijan to Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina Eldar Hasanov was arrested and accused of embezzling budget funds.
This arrest was the latest in a series of detentions of officials, including high-ranking officials, which began in December 2019.