European Azerbaijan Society

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The European Azerbaijan Society (Teas) calls itself an 'independent' advocacy group and body. It regularly regularly takes British and European MPs, MEPs and government officials on trips to the former Soviet state.

Chaired by Tale Heydarov, the society has been accused of being 'a mouthpiece for the country's elite families who own much of its oil and mining interests'. [1]

Azerbaijan is regularly judged to be one of the most corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International.

In September 2014 Azerbaijan was harshly criticized by members of the European Parliament, who with an overwhelming majority, adopted a resolution condemning the persecution of human rights activists in Azerbaijan and called for targeted sanctions against Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s regime, and visa bans against those in the regime responsible for the repression of civil society. [2]


Lobbying and influencing politicians

Teas has a dedicated public affairs team working out of its offices in London and Brussels 'to increase awareness about Azerbaijan amongst key opinion formers, key decision-makers and other political, academic and civil society stakeholders'. One of the team's 'principal objectives'is to highlight 'the illegal occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven surrounding territories. [3]

Parliamentary groups

Teas provides secretarial support to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Azerbaijan and cultivates relationships with politicians from all sides, 'throwing glitzy receptions for MPs at their parties' annual conferences'.[1]

Controversial lobbyist Lord Laird is a member of this group [4] and a former chair who has received payment for his advice.

APPG officers

August 2014

The list of registered interests shows that the society has given at least £71,740 to Tory MPs to cover trips to Azerbaijan.[1]

British MP trips

In May 2011 a delegation of parliamentarians, including MPs Bob Blackman, Stephen Hammond, Gerry Sutcliffe (Lab), Mark Field and his assistant, Julia Dockerill, as well as peers Lord Kilclooney and Lord Rogan, went on a five-day visit to Azerbaijan, paid for by the society.[1]

Other MEPs who have taken paid trips include: Nick de Bois, David Hamilton, Stephen Hepburn, Angus MacNeil, Christopher Pincher, Mark Menzies, Jim Sheridan, David Amess Bob Blackman and Malcolm Bruce. [5]

European MEP trips

In 2011 the society funded trips by Baroness Eccles, and Viscount Eccles, members of the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe (Pace), the body responsible for monitoring Azerbaijan elections.[1]

In March 2014, the European Parliament’s ethics committee found that a number of parliamentarians (MEPs) had accepted—and failed to properly disclose—trips to Azerbaijan that were reportedly funded by the Azerbaijani government or groups who refuse to disclose their funding. [6]



UEI Holdings describes Teas as an affiliate on its website. It is based at the same London address as below.



The European Azerbaijan Society
15 Queen Anne's Gate
London SW1H 9BU, United Kingdom

Teas also has offices in Belgium, Turkey, France and Azerbaijan.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Jamie Doward and Charlotte Latimer, Plush hotels and caviar diplomacy: how Azerbaijan's elite wooed MPs, The Observer, 24 November 2013
  2. European Parliament Calls for Sanctions on Azerbaijan,
  3. Teas, Public Affairs, undated, acc September 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Register Of All-Party Groups [as at 18 August 2014 Azerbaijan],, accessed 18 September 2014
  5. ref to be added
  6. Azerbaijan: International PR Campaign Can’t Cover-Up Rights Abuses, acc 18 September 2014
  7. PRCA Register, 1 March to 31 May 2014
  8. Register 1st June 2014 - 31st August 2014 APPC, accessed 28 January 2015
  9. Register 1st September 2014 - 30th November 2014 APPC, accessed 28 January 2015