Terry and the man from Azerbaijan

Senator Terry Leyden usually calls once a week with updates from the world of international politics. Big names from Europe such as Francois Hollande are usually mentioned as Terry carries out his duties between top European destinations like Brussels, Paris and Castlecoote.

 

  Last week was slightly different, however, as the world of international politics came to Roscommon in the form of Muslum Mammadov, who is a member of parliament from Azerbaijan.

  Mr. Mammadov briefly described his country’s economic progress and the warm welcome he had received in Roscommon and Ireland.

  The Azerbaijani MP also highlighted the problems faced by his country due to conflict with neighbouring Armenia.

  He said: “The war reached its height in the early 1990s and now every ninth citizen is a refugee from this conflict. This is a big problem for Azerbaijan.

  “Following 1994, the big oil companies arrived, companies like BP. Azerbaijan has completely changed in the last 17 years – it is now modern and vibrant and there are skyscrapers in the cities.”

  ‘The Land of Fire’ gets its name from the flames caused by the abundance of gas and oil just beneath its surface. The country is also renowned for its carpet, which has been proclaimed a Masterpiece of Intangible Heritage by UNESCO.

  So Mr. Mammadov MP was a fascinating and warm visitor, even though his country has made the headlines for the wrong reasons lately including the development of a controversial Donald Trump hotel in its capital city, Baku. There was no time to dwell on that, however, as Senator Leyden took our man from Azerbaijan away for some red carpet treatment elsewhere.