News from the Azerbaijan dictatorship-controlled press: Maltese prime minister writes to Azerbaijani president with birthday greetings

Published: February 27, 2014 at 12:31pm

Muscat birthday greetings Azerbaijan

Muscat_Azeri dictator birthday greetings

Muscat promised us the most transparent government ever, but the way we have to find out about its links and relationships through strange corners of the world’s media is now quite ridiculous (and offensive).

It took the sight of an Azerbaijan government jet at Malta International Airport to lead us to the fact that the Azerbaijani president’s daughter was in Malta, feted by our head of state and entertained by our prime minister’s wife.

For photographs, we had to go to the state-controlled press in Azerbaijan, and for a video of the occasion, we had to go to the dictator’s daughter’s personal Youtube channel.

A further trawl through the Azerbaijan state press led a reader of this website to your typical ‘splendid ruler admired by foreign nations’ report: the Maltese prime minister, Joseph Muscat, wrote to the Azerbaijan president, Aliyev, to greet and praise him on his birthday two months ago.

This is the full text of our prime minister’s letter to the corrupt and autocratic ruler of Azerbaijan, who rigs elections to stay in power, including the very election for which Muscat congratulates him:



I wish to extend my congratulations as you begin your third term as President of Azerbaijan.

I am confident that we will continue building on efforts that will strengthen the ties between our two countries both bilaterally, as well as through regional and multilateral, particularly with the EU. In this regard, I take this opportunity to assure you of Malta`s commitment to support Azerbaijan`s progress under the Eastern Partnership and the European Neighborhood Policy.

Whilst I look forward to stronger cooperation between our two countries, I extend to you Your Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.

Joseph Muscat
Prime Minister of Malta

22 Comments Comment

  1. Not Sandy:P says:

    That election was perfectly legitimate. Election monitor and Speaker of the Maltese Parliament, Anglu Farrugia, said so – even though seven monitors were bribed and the election result was announced before the votes were cast.

  2. Joe Fenech says:

    Meaning “do you want to buy some Maltese passports?”

  3. Tabatha White says:

    Another example of excellent and faultless diplomatic expression.

  4. TROY says:

    At least seven election monitors from other countries were bribed and the election result was announced before the votes were cast. So? This is the type of fairness our Inspector Gadget believes in.

    And on the eleventh hour the switchers voted LABOUR.

  5. ciccio says:

    It’s good to know that the Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat holds Ilham Heydar Oglu Aliyev, the dictatorial and corrupt president of Azerbaijan, in his highest consideration.

    It doesn’t look like Muscat holds the people of Marsaxlokk and Birzebbugia in the same level of consideration.

  6. Noel Buttigieg Scicluna says:

    This is quite a departure from the usual protocol. It should have been the President of Malta to congratulate the President of Azerbaijan and not the Prime Minister: one head of state to another.

    Of course, the Prime Minister may have wanted to underline a special relationship between the two countries. But then I understand that protocol is no longer important in Malta under this government.

    I understand that one ambassador presented his credentials addressed to the former head of state of the receiving country, rather than the actual one. Such a mistake is unpardonable, but I have the feeling that the ambassador in question would not have noticed the difference.

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      Name and shame please.

    • Grezz says:

      Labour and protocol don’t belong in the same sentence.

      We knew that, didn’t we, when Joseph Muscat himself requested an official visit to Mater Dei’s Rainbow Ward, and Michelle ‘illum jien gejt’ Muscat turned up in his stead, without The former giving any prior notification to his ‘hosts’.

    • Antoine Vella says:

      What special relationship? We have no relationship whatsoever with Azerbaijan.

      • Tabatha White says:

        Joseph Muscat has one with Shiv Nair.

        Shiv Nair has been blacklisted for fraud by the World Bank but comes titled as advisor to several dictators: Azerbaijan and China included. Joseph Muscat is relatively new as a graduate to the mentored scene.

        Since journalists don’t seem to be able to find him on the local scene since October, perhaps discerning journalists should be enquiring at his UK address:

        135, Holland Park Avenue, Notting Hill, London, 411 4UT, U.K.

  7. Jozef says:

    ‘….In Wikileaks diplomatic cables, Ilham Aliyev’s style of running government was compared to that of a mafia boss from Hollywood’s famous “God Father” series. The international watchdog OCCRP has recognized Ilham Aliyev as the most corrupt person in the world. Reports keep appearing in international media with evidence of Aliyev family’s enormous fortunes stolen from the Azerbaijani people. Washington Post reported on a forty million dollars luxury Dubai mansion possessed by Aliyev’s 11-years old son. Investigative journalists discovered gold mines, banks and telephone companies owned by his daughters, as well as billions of dollars in offshore bank accounts in British Virgin Island tied to the Aliev family. MSNBC featured the corrupt wealth accumulated by Aliyevs in its documentary titled “Filthy Rich”…..’

    We’ll never know who got their passports. Watch the money pouring in, and then it will be Luciano Busuttil who’ll tell us we get to keep the regime’s money, again.

    Old habits simply don’t die. Not at all surprised they kept this ‘state’ visit under wraps.

    And look, Maryland realised the risk and did what was best. We didn’t.

    ‘….Millions of Azerbaijan’s lobbying dollars are poured into DC. Baku provides all-paid luxury trips to the US policymakers and establishment figures. The recent grandiose PR forum held in Azerbaijan, the “US-Azerbaijan Convention” sponsored by Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR, was attended by over three hundred current and former American officials and participants from influential US foreign policy circles. The money coming from an Azerbaijani minister oligarch Ziya Mammadov’s corrupt business enterprise bankrolls “Azerbaijan America Alliance” in Washington, DC. The Alliance hired high profile lobbying firms to establish contacts with the US government officials and Congress members. It also became known for hosting lavish gala dinners, where the House Speaker John Boehner and other American politicians hang out.

    Ilham Aliyev’s apologists among the US policy “experts” and think-tank “analysts” write positive reviews and sympathetic articles about his regime. One such pundit that often authors pro-Aliyev pieces in the US press, Rob Sobhani, has even tried to run for a US Senate seat from Maryland as an “independent, self-financed candidate”. It would have been bizarre and troubling for the America’s own democracy to see a champion for a foreign dictator sitting in the US Capitol. Luckily, the good people of Maryland made a wise choice and speared themselves from such representation…..’

    SOCAR happens to be the one providing Marsaxlokk. With Labour it’s easy, they don’t even need to plant some ‘candidate’.

    • Chavs United says:

      It’s even easier. SOCAR’s registered several companies here in Malta:

      C 26647 SOCAR SHIPPING CO. LIMITED Jul 04, 2000
      C 43070 SOCAR TRADING HOLDING LIMITED Dec 11, 2007
      C 48911 SOCAR VETTING COMPANY LIMITED Feb 17, 2010

      • Tabatha White says:

        Who has registered these companies on behalf of Socar?

        The date of 1996 as an established presence of Shiv Nair.

        Joseph Muscat’s EP rapporteur focus on the Financial Services perspective in 2006.

        MFSC/ MFSA had no questions on provenance of funds, obviously.

        I wonder whether these were passed by the internal regulators at the time or whether these were approved at a higher level.

        I wonder also, who these companies bank through locally?

        Azerbaijan did not become a dictatorship overnight.

  8. Alexander Ball says:

    That letter missed off the postscript.

    PS Any cheap oil I can have?

  9. La Redoute says:

    Filthy Rich – CNBC’s investigation into the Aliyevs wealth and power relationships:

  10. Dan says:

    In May 2012, a few days before the Eurovision final in Baku, BBC Panorama had screened a documentary about Azerbaijan’s corrupt regime and poor human rights record.

  11. just me says:

    Ghidli ma min taghmilha u nghidlek x’int.

  12. eve says:

    Forsi jrid xi daqsxejn zejt bl-irhis Joseph. Wara kollox, kullhadd jaghmel kif jaqbel. Perezempju l-Amerikani jinhabbu hafna mad-dittaturi princpijiet tas Saudi u Qatar fost ohrajn, fejn lanqas biss jippermettu elezzjonijiet.

  13. Mikiel says:

    ‘What the heck’ jilghaq il-barrani, ghal lira (euro) jew tnejn.

  14. English as she uis wrote says:

    Whoever drafted that letter did not pay much attention to correctness. “Both” should refer to two things whereas here we have three: bilateral, regional and multilateral.

    Regional and multilateral are adjectives but they do not refer to any noun in the sentence.

    “Neighborhood” is spelt the American way though British English is the official spelling in the Maltese civil service. After “you” and “Excellency”, in the concluding paragraph, there should be commas. Doesn’t anyone check such letters before presenting them for the PM’s signature?

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