Disgraced former PM talks up Azerbaijan ‘achievements’

Amid speculation that disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat would return to politics for the upcoming European Parliament elections, he first returned to Azerbaijan for an annual conference designed to promote the dictatorship.

As reported by an Azerbaijani government news agency on Thursday, Muscat commended the country’s “achievements” in being selected to host the UN climate change conference COP29 in November.

Muscat was speaking at the 11th edition of the Global Baku Forum, a conference organised by the Nizami Ganjavi International Centre. Muscat had joined the Azerbaijani ‘think tank’ and lobby group in 2020 following his forced resignation.

This year’s edition of the forum, held this week, was titled ‘Fixing the Fractured World’ and served as an apparent preamble to the upcoming COP conference to be held in the country.

Notably, the former ‘Vice President for Ecology’ of the Azerbaijani state energy company SOCAR will be presiding over the UN conference in November.

A SOCAR subsidiary was contracted by the Maltese government under Muscat’s leadership to supply liquified natural gas (LNG) to the country. The deal, which included incredibly generous terms as part of a secret government agreement, formed part of the larger Electrogas scandal that resulted in millions overcharged to taxpayers.

On Saturday, another news agency in Azerbaijan said Muscat spoke at a panel in which he reportedly “emphasised the need to challenge conventional wisdom” and “highlighted the differences between public statements and private conversations” advocating for “a shift in this dynamic”.

Both the conference and the forum hosting it serve as a stage for a lineup of former politicians who aid Azerbaijan in exerting soft influence through ‘caviar diplomacy’.

Muscat’s murky relationship with Azerbaijan can be traced back to 2007 when he was an MEP. It wasn’t until the Labour Party was elected to government in 2013 that the relationship grew.

Upon becoming prime minister, Muscat, accompanied by his former chief of staff Keith Schembri and former energy minister Konrad Mizzi, both suspected of money laundering, signed a dubious ‘memorandum of understanding’ with the country, forming the basis for the scandalous Electrogas power station deal.

Members of Azerbaijani dictator Ilham Aliyev’s family held bank accounts at the Malta-based Pilatus bank, through which they processed millions. In 2014, Muscat’s wife, Michelle, hosted family members at Girgenti Palace.

                           

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Carmelo borg
1 month ago

Ma min rajtek XEBAHTEK ZEPPPPPP

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
1 month ago
Reply to  Carmelo borg

Ghidli ma’ min taghmilha – u nghidlek x’int!!

Lawrence Mifsud
Lawrence Mifsud
1 month ago

Ħadd m’għadu jistaqsi għal provi, hux?

M.Galea
M.Galea
1 month ago

Xi hmieg ta ragel u hawn min ghadu jqisu bhal Alla!

Joseph
Joseph
1 month ago

I wish he’ll disappear to Azerbaijan and stay there out of sight. Every time I see a picture of him I want to reach for a bucket!

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