LONDON (Panorama.am) — One of the countries the West treats too complacently is, unfortunately, Azerbaijan, where quite an unpleasant dictatorial regime reigns, famous billionaire, philanthropist, and “Open Society Foundation” founder George Soros said during a forum in London.

According to Soros, he had to argue face to face with the Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev several times. “He often pretends to be above the fray and not to bear the responsibility for the repressions in Azerbaijan. However, during the conversations with me, he demonstrated quite a deep knowledge of the conditions and accusations the political prisoners in jails face, and so on… Therefore, it is just a dissimulation,” Soros said.

He also highlighted that Aliyev tries to please the West by demonstrating new potential oil fields. “I think the West makes a great mistake supporting him,” Soros stated.

In January of the last year, George Soros urged the Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev to loosen his stranglehold over civil society and to end his harassment of legally registered charitable organizations at their meeting in Davos. Soros’s statement expressed his concern about the intensifying campaign against civil society in Azerbaijan, including the detention of several prominent human rights activists. It was emphasized that “Open Society’s foundation” in Azerbaijan was targeted, its computers were frozen and seized, and several former employees were questioned.

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