- Armenia taps Bob Dole ahead of US summit
- Glover Park discloses $300,000 Ivory Coast contract
- JWI split with Qatar after just one month
Armenia has hired former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kansas) and the Alston & Bird law firm to help the country prepare for bilateral talks to be held in Washington next month.
The contract, dated Sept. 15, is worth $10,000 and lasts one month. It was signed by Dole, a longtime friend of Armenia who is now a special counsel at Alston & Bird, and Armenian Ambassador to the United States Varuzhan Nersesyan.
Azerbaijan has also been beefing up its lobbying presence after this summer’s violence. Former Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.) and his Livingston Group informed the Justice Department in late July that they were in the process of negotiating a contract with Azerbaijan’s government.
Read the story here.
New foreign lobbying filings (FARA)
Ivory Coast: The Glover Park Group struck a year-long, $300,000 agreement to represent the Ivory Coast government as a subcontractor to JWI (Jefferson Waterman International) last November, according to a newly disclosed lobbying filing. A previous filing last year did not include the contract. Lobbying on the account are: Brett O’Brien, Tod Preston and Charles Schoenthaler.
Meanwhile JWI just disclosed $687,000 in payments from Ivory Coast in the six months through August. During that period the firm notably helped the country develop “policy reforms that improve governance, economic freedom, and social investments to improve country scores on Millennium
Challenge Corporation indicators” and helped improve human rights regarding the use of child labor in cocoa producing regions.
Seychelles: Edelman has added two people to its account with HDR Global Trading : Andrea Yu in Taiwan and Chan Chee Sing in Hong Kong. The Seychelles-registered company operates the cryptocurrency trading platform BitMEX in the United States.
Haiti: The Embassy of Haiti in Washington paid Johanna Leblanc $30,000 in the six months to March 3 to lobby on immigration, human rights and trade issues, including renewal of the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (read our story on Caribbean lobbing for the extension here). A former vice-chair of Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser‘s Commission on African Affairs, Leblanc registered with the Department of Justice as a senior adviser to the Haitian government in March 2019.
Afghanistan: Andrew Clausnitzer has registered as a foreign agent for the Afghanistan-U.S. Democratic Peace and Prosperity Council. Clausnitzer is a managing partner with Victory Six Advisors in Washington. The council was formed by Afghan lawmaker Mir Haider Afzaly and businessmen Haji Ajmal Rahmani and Mohammad Gul Raoufi and registered under FARA in April. It has notably lobbied on the potential for corruption with US Army contracts. Raoufi is paying for the council’s $410,000 budget for 2020. Also registered to lobby on the account are Jeffrey Richard Mallory and Martin Rahmani.
China: China Central Television (CCTV) paid its Washington news bureau MediaLinks almost $23 million in the six months through August.
Japan: The Embassy of Japan in Washington has renewed its contract with Hecht, Latham, Spencer & Associates through March 31. The year-long contract, which was effective in April, is for $14,300 per month, down from $16,000 previously. The firm has represented the embassy since 2001. Firm President Timothy Hecht, Chairman Stuart Spencer and Senior Vice President Franklin Phifer are registered on the account.
Qatar: JWI (Jefferson Waterman International) terminated its contract with the Embassy of Qatar in Washington on March 31, according a new filing of lobbying activities for the six months through August. The firm had been hired on March 1 for one year for $30,000 per month. The firm disclosed a payment of $67,500 for “political consulting activities” on May 14. JWI was founded by Charles Waterman, a veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Intelligence Council.
Saudi Arabia: Teneo Strategy has registered Vice-President Lauren Kelly Lutz to its $2.1 million contract with the NEOM Company, which is building Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman‘s $500 billion futuristic mega-city in the desert (read our story on NEOM’s lobbying here).
Turkey: Giran Ozcan, the US representative of the pro-Kurdish Turkish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), met with several US officials in the six months through March, according to a late lobbying filing. These include Rich Outzen, the State Department’s senior adviser for Syria engagement. Ozcan also discussed “democratic backsliding, imprisonment of HDP elected officials and authoritarianism in Turkey” with the offices of Reps. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.),
Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Indiana). Ozcan’s office received $20,000 from party headquarters in Turkey during the period.
United Arab Emirates: Edelman continues to add people to its account with Dubai’s Mashreqbank, the oldest privately owned bank in the UAE. Newly registered on the account are Alex Simmons in London; Leung On Ki Melissa in Hong Kong; and Seth Michael Hand, Doreen Antoine Abi Saleh, Omar Qirem and Kenneth Jean Jules De Pauw in Dubai.
Edelman signed an agreement with Mashreqbank for public relations services starting July 27. The PR firm is providing “strategic advice,” “non-US media management and media monitoring” and “coordinating with media in non-US regions in response to specific media queries.” The agreement calls for Edelman to be paid $20,000 up front before hourly rates kick in.
In other news
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project has a new blockbuster investigation, this time Turkey’s hidden lobbying of the Donald Trump administration. Among the revelations: A meeting at the Watergate hotel on the eve of Trump’s inauguration between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Brian Ballard, a lobbyist then serving as vice chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee.
“Also present were the two men who set up the meeting,” OCCRP reports. “One was Lev Parnas, a colorful Florida businessman whose backchannel dealings in Ukraine would, nearly three years later, lead to Trump’s impeachment. The other was Mubariz Mansimov, a Turkish-Azerbaijani shipping magnate now on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges.”
Meanwhile Forbes’ Dan Alexander has new revelations about the Qatar Investment Fund renting office space in Trump’s most valuable property, in San Francisco. The sovereign wealth fund does not appear to have ever used the property. You can read the thread here.