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Azerbaijan: First Lady responds to Cablegate criticism?

As Azerbaijan braces itself for yet more revelations from classified U.S. Embassy cables released this week by Wikileaks, some interesting developments are occurring on Twitter. In particular, after some less than favorable descriptions of Ilham Aliyev, president of the oil-rich former Soviet republic, as well as his wife, by U.S. diplomats, an account presenting itself as that of the country's First Lady appeared less than a day later.

Mehriban Aliyeva is using twitter.

Although unverified as to its authenticity at time of writing, the Twitter account of Mehriban Aliyeva has a similar style to that of the official presidential Twitter account, and has also referred to hopes that one of Aliyev's daughters will continue the work of the First Lady in the Islamic Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO).

We think it is time to go out of ISESCO. Arzu will continue my work there.

Naturally, and especially since one U.S. cable compared the presidential dynasty to the fictional Corleone family of Godfather film fame, tweets from the account do not take too kindly to Cablegate.

I cant believe they compare Ilham Aliyev with Mafia. They should look through the statistics how Azerbaijan developed during his presidency.

@TuralAhmedzadeh responded.

Of course they compare Ilham to the mafia. The mafia makes a lot of money as well. Development doesn't clear his name.

Another user, @Azer_Cafarov was particularly critical.

the statistics how developed Azerbaijan absolutely rubbish: there's just rise of oil output and prices.

there are not significant developments going on, just each year thousands more citizens leaving country: NO JOBS!

@leylanajafli was also unimpressed.

i wish @firstladyaze would cut the BS already. it's been less than 24 hours and i'm already in need of a sick bucket.

Nevertheless, undaunted, tweets from the account continued.

Bizim məqsədimiz Azərbaycanı demokratik,hüquqi və sekulyar dövlət kimi inkişaf etdirmək idi. Məncə, biz buna nail olduq.

Our aim is to develop Azerbaijan into a democratic, legal and secular country. I think we achieved it.

In response, @SahileAslanova didn't appear too convinced.

Bu yazdiqlariniza özünüz inanirsiniz hec olmasa?:)))

Do you at least believe in what you write?:)))

An implied accusation that Wikileaks might be purposely targeting Azerbaijan was also made.

Those who want to make strife in Azerbaijan will never succeed as our nation believe in their powerful leader.

@TuralAhmedzadeh again responded.

who belongs to our nation? Does that include Isa Gambar and the opposition? The only strife is caused by the Aliyev mafia.

In all cases, however, there were no responses to comments sent to the Twitter account. At the same time, some even noted that it only followed the official accounts of the Azerbaijani president.

mihriban abla azarbeycan first leydisi ya: twittırda tek bir kişiyi takip ediyor: ilham aliyev. bağlılık, sadakat.. beheeeyy

Sister Mehriban is the First Lady of Azerbaijan, Duh, she is following only one person on Twitter: Ilham Aliyev. Dedication. Loyalty. Booooooo.

Nevertheless, that wasn't true at the beginning when, in addition to the two presidential accounts, @firstladyaze also followed two others — Safura Alizade, Azerbaijan's entry into the Eurovision Song Contest last year, and somewhat surprisingly, my own personal account.

Meanwhile, while it should be again noted that the account has yet to be verified, some on Facebook nevertheless wondered if governments in the region might become more accountable and start to reach out to people.

Time will tell, but as for myself and Safura Alizade, we were both unfollowed soon after.

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