The Blog

Secretary Rice Should Consider a Visit to Baku During Her Travels

12:20 PM, Oct 11, 2005 • By DANIEL MCKIVERGAN
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Secretary of State Rice is now in the midst of a trip that will take her to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and finally to Afghanistan. UPI reports that during a stopover in Ireland Rice said that "one of the elements of a strong and deep relationship with the United States these days is moving forward with democracy," and that she would carry this message to the capitals of Central Asia. Another place the Secretary may want to consider delivering this message to is Azerbaijan, where parliamentary elections are scheduled for November 6. Just as former Secretary of State James Baker's trip to the Republic of Georgia in July of 2003 helped advance democracy there, a brief stop in Baku on her way back to Washington spotlighting the need for a free and fair election may help deepen democracy in this important region.