New U.S. Ambassador Will Arrive In Azerbaijan Later This Week
The new U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan, Mark Libby, is finally headed to Baku this week following the recent tension between the two countries, in a signal of Washington's continued engagement with the situation, TURAN's U.S. correspondent has learned from diplomatic sources.
Libby, a career foreign service officer, is expected to arrive in Baku later this week. The Senate confirmed him as U.S. ambassador early this month, nearly a year and half after he was nominated. Washington has not had an ambassador to Azerbaijan since last summer, when Lee Litzenberger left the post.
Libby's arrival to the country comes just days after Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Azerbaijan's Ilham Aliyev in which they discussed, as the State Department put it, "our enduring relations with Azerbaijan, noted recent points of concern in the relationship and also spoke about opportunities to strengthen cooperation, especially around the peace process, and the importance of high-level engagement."
During his career in the Foreign Service, Libby served as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels. Other overseas assignments include tours in Warsaw, Nassau, Nicosia, and Baghdad, where he served as Political Counselor.
His Washington assignments include tours as a watch-stander and later Deputy Director for Crisis Management in the State Department Operations Center; Deputy Director in the Office of Central European Affairs; Director of the Office of Southern European Affairs; and Director of Orientation at the Foreign Service Institute. according to the White House announcement of the nomination.
Earlier, Libby worked on the State Department Secretariat Staff, returning later as Director. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Tufts University in Massachusetts and also studied at the Institut des Etudes Politiques (“Sciences-Po”) in Paris; he earned a Master’s Degree from the National War College, where he was a Distinguished Graduate. He is fluent in Polish and French.