Trump International Hotel & Tower Baku

WASHINGTON, DC — The House Ways and Means Committee on Friday released six years of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns, showing, among other things, that he has paid taxes both in Turkey and Azerbaijan.

The former president’s business dealings in Turkey were well known, but the revelation that he paid taxes in Azerbaijan came somewhat as a surprise.

In the past, several media reports indicated that Trump’s plan to open a hotel in Baku fell through. In an article published in The New Yorker magazine in 2017, it was reported that Trump International Hotel & Tower Baku, a sleek 5-star hotel in the shape of a ship sail in Azerbaijan’s capital, never opened despite appearing nearly complete.

Plans to build the tower began in 2008 when developers first drew up a “high-end apartment building” downtown in the capital of Azerbaijan.

In 2012, the Trump Organization and Azerbaijani developers signed off on a contract to turn the building into a luxury hotel. The organization’s chief legal officer Alan Garten, said that Trump played only a nominal role in the construction of the hotel — he was “merely a licensor” who had allowed Anar Mammadov, the son of powerful Azerbaijani oligarch Ziya Mammadov, to use his name, the New Yorker reported.

In 2018, the New York Times reported that the Trump Organization withdrew its licensing agreement for the Baku skyscraper shortly after the 2016 election, as it promised to wind down international projects that could pose conflicts of interest to the president.

It is still unclear what role the former president’s business dealings in Turkey and Azerbaijan play during the 2020 war when Azeri forces attacked Armenian territories in Nagorno Karabagh. During that period the US government was not actively pressuring Baku to stop its aggression and abide by several cease-fire agreements.

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