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Business & Leisure Travel Advisors received $130,400 in 2013 from Metastar Invest for an educational field trip to the US for Azer Gasimov.
Gasimov has been the press secretary for President Ilham Aliyev since 2004. He has worked for the Azerbaijani government since 1994, including as an embassy translator in China and an attaché in Iran.
In October 2013, Gasimov published an article with a major Azerbaijani press agency in which he said, “I have familiarized myself with the statement issued by the US Department of State on the presidential elections in Azerbaijan. I want to say that the non-objective and biased statement of the Department of State is a document not based in reality.”
Reporters for OCCRP contacted the press office repeatedly, but Gasimov did not respond.