The Costa Rica foreign minister has become the first top-level Tico official to visit Azerbaijan. He met with Ilham Aliyev, president of the mainly Muslim country.
The Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto said that the visit by Manuel González Sanz had as an objective the amplification of relations between both countries and the expansion of commerce in Eurasia. That includes investment, tourism and cooperation, said the ministry here.
González also met with the foreign minister there, Elmar Mammadyarov, and discussed cooperation with the country in humanitarian matters as well as the economy and tourism, said the ministry here.
The two men also discussed a possible treaty, the ministry said.
Human Rights Watch lumps Azerbaijan with Bangladesh, Russia, Egypt, China and Uzbekistan. Last month it cited the deteriorating human rights situations in these countries and chided the United Nations Human Rights Council for not taking any action.
As to Azerbaijan, the Human Rights Watch says “Azerbaijan’s government has escalated repression against its critics, marking a dramatic deterioration in an already poor rights record. In recent years, dozens of human rights defenders, political and civil activists, journalists, and
bloggers have been arrested or imprisoned on politically motivated charges, prompting others to flee the country or go into hiding.
“Bank accounts of independent civic groups and their leaders have been frozen, impeding their work, or in some cases forcing them to shut down entirely. New legal regulations make it almost impossible for independent groups to get foreign funding. While criticizing the increasing crackdown, Azerbaijan’s international partners have failed to secure rights improvements.”
Aliyev’s father, Heydar, led the country when it was a member of the Soviet Union. He assumed the presidency after a coup that deposed the democratically elected president in 1993.
Ilham Aliyev took over when his father died in 2003 and was re-elected in 2013 after the legislature eliminated term limits.