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Spotlight Article

Azerbaijan Welcomes Ambassador Richard Morningstar

July 03, 2012


Ambassador Morningstar brings with him a wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors, having worked in the region for almost 20 years. A major architect and proponent of U.S. policy in the Europe and Eurasian region, Morningstar has previously represented the United States in the following roles:

 • Ambassador and Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on Assistance for the New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (1995-1998)

• U.S. Ambassador to the European Union (1999-2001)

• U.S. Secretary of State’s Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy (2009-2012)

In these roles he has overseen U.S. bilateral assistance and trade investment activities in Eurasia; laid the groundwork for unprecedented Azerbaijani-American business links; and worked to develop a strong, lasting partnership between Azerbaijan and the United States.

As a career State Department official who has served in the region under three consecutive presidential administrations, Morningstar is an excellent selection for the role of Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan. Popular in both Azerbaijan and the United States, he has displayed an even-handed diplomacy towards the region which has drawn praise from Democrats and Republicans, alike.

At a time when relations with Azerbaijan are an increasingly important factor in securing the interests of the United States, Israel and our European allies, it is vital to have a highly experienced and capable Ambassador in Baku. Ambassador Richard Morningstar clearly fits these requirements.

 Most importantly, the confirmation of a State Department official as substantial as Morningstar sends a clear signal to Azerbaijan that the United States regards this relationship as a high priority. In the realms of energy and security, in particular, Azerbaijani-American relations are of the greatest importance, and the confirmation of Ambassador Morningstar is a clear step in the direction of building a stronger, lasting partnership.  

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