97001 2/16/2007 9:00 07BAKU216 Embassy Baku UNCLASSIFIED 07STATE18837 VZCZCXYZ0008 PP RUEHWEB DE RUEHKB #0216/01 0470900 ZNR UUUUU ZZH P 160900Z FEB 07 FM AMEMBASSY BAKU TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2418 INFO RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0227 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 0082 RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 0249 RUEHFT/AMCONSUL FRANKFURT PRIORITY 1434 RUEHMZ/AMCONSUL MUNICH PRIORITY 0019 UNCLAS BAKU 000216
DEPARTMENT FOR H AND RM/F/DFS/FO/AA/CAA
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: OREP, AMGT, ASEC, AFIN, GM, AJ, RO SUBJECT: AZERBAIJAN COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR CODEL ORTIZ
REF: STATE 18837
1. Embassy Baku warmly welcomes and grants country clearance to Chairman Solomon Ortiz, Representative Jeff Miller, House Armed Services Committee Permanent Staff Members Paul Arcangeli and John Wason, U.S. Army Escort Officer Terry Laughlin, and U.S. Army Medical Escort Officer Ramiro Gutierrez to travel to Baku 18-19 February 2007, to conduct meetings. Control officer will be Political Officer Rebecca Naslund. Ms. Naslund can be reached at the Embassy at:
Email: NaslundRJ@State.Gov Mobile: (994) (50) 206-9674 International Line: (994) (12) 498-03-35, 36, OR 37 Tie Line: 841-0000 OR 0 4209 International Fax: (994) (12) 465-66-71 Tie Line Fax: 841-4289.
2. Accommodations: Reservations have been made for CODEL Ortiz at the Park Hyatt. The Hyatt's address is 1 Bakikhanov St, Baku; telephone number is (994) (12) 490-1234; fax number is (994) (12) 498-7878. The hotel's daily rate is $218.00 USD without VAT and includes breakfast. Please note that cancellation or amendment of a confirmed reservation must be done 48 hours prior to arrival. Failure to do so will result in a one-night cancellation fee.
3. Visas: All travelers are advised to obtain visas for all/all stops on their itinerary prior to their departure. We recommend that travelers obtain Azerbaijani visas from the Embassy of Azerbaijan at the point of origin, and that they allow 10 days for processing of the visa request. If visas cannot be obtained at the traveler's point of origin, an airport visa can be issued upon arrival. Please proof read your visa carefully. An occasional Embassy guest has received a visa with an error in it. If traveling on a Diplomatic Passport, there is no fee. If traveling on tourist or official passports, there is a $40 USD fee for a single entry one-month visa. Passport assistance is available at the passport counter in room 1258 of the State Department. The Embassy of Azerbaijan requires a minimum of two working days to process visa requests. Should the projected itinerary include transit through Turkey, visitors must obtain Turkish visas in advance. Bearers of Diplomatic or Official Passports are not permitted to purchase airport visas in Turkey and will be denied exit from the Istanbul airport. If transit through Russia is necessary, travelers must obtain transit visas in advance.
4. Travel advisory: Travelers are also advised that the alternate landing site for BA flight London-Baku is Tbilisi, Georgia. The alternate landing site would be used only in situations which prohibit landing at Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport.
5. Web site: Useful information for all travelers is available on the Internet at http://baku.usembassy.gov. Follow the links for consular services: traveling to Azerbaijan.
6. General reminders:
--bring sufficient cash to pay for all expenses except lodging. Credit cards are still accepted only by businesses that cater to foreigners, such as hotels, travel agencies, international airlines and a few restaurants.
--the Embassy has a CIRRUS/Plus network ATM machine, which accepts most U.S. bank cards. It dispenses both the local currency (Azerbaijani manat) and U.S. dollars.
--bring supplies of all hard-to-find foods, toiletries and medicines. Western commodities are sold in Baku but are expensive and not always available.
--drink only bottled water; tap water is not potable.
7. Security: Crime in Baku is comparable with that of major U.S. cities. Visitors should exercise caution, avoid walking alone after dark, and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Street crime includes pickpockets, jewelry snatching and armed robbery. If confronted, no resistance should be given and valuables should be surrendered. Medical facilities are limited in dealing with major trauma care. Visitors should keep their passports or a copy with them at all times. Counterfeit U.S. dollars are often passed in Baku. Visitors should exchange money only at major banks and hotels, or at the Embassy cashier.
8. Security clearance level: All visitors who require access to cleared areas and "no escort" ID badges must provide proof of their security clearance by front channel cable.
9. Meet and Assist: Embassy Baku will meet CODEL Ortiz at the airport, provide transportation during the visit, and provide transportation to the airport for departure. DERSE