Azerbaijan fires Foreign Minister, replaces him with Minister of Education

Azerbaijan has fired its longtime foreign minister in the wake of the renewed conflict with Armenia, Eurasianet reports.

President Ilham Aliyev fired his top diplomat, Elmar Mammadyarov, on July 16 and replaced him with Jeyhun Bayramov, who had been Azerbaijan’s minister of education.

The firing came the day after Aliyev issued a brutal public attack on Mammadyarov, who had been in the post since 2004 but who has for several months appeared to be in danger of losing his job.

Mammadyarov already had effectively been sidelined by Hikmet Hajiyev, Aliyev’s top foreign policy adviser. Since the outbreak of fighting on July 12, Hajiyev has been Baku’s international face and Mammadyarov nowhere to be seen.

Mammadyarov’s ouster became all but inevitable after Aliyev accused him of lying down on the job in extensive comments on July 15.

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