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WikiLeaks cable shows “cattiest” comments by US

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A WikiLeaks cable about the first lady of Azerbaijan, Mehriban Aliyeva, contains some of the “cattiest” comments to emerge from the leaked US embassy cables so far, according to the Guardian.

Aliyeva has problems showing a “full range of facial expression” following “substantial cosmetic surgery, (done) presumably overseas,” US diplomats say in US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks.

The cable written in January examines Aliyeva’s family, the influential Pashayevs, describing them as one of oil-rich state’s “most powerful families”.

Under the headline “A First Lady, Too, in Fashion”, Aliyeva is dubbed more “fashion-conscious and daring” than the “average woman in majority-Muslim Azerbaijan”.

It says that, as well as substantial cosmetic surgery, the first lady “wears dresses that would be considered provocative even in the Western world.”

“On television, in photos, and in person, she appears unable to show a full range of facial expression,” it adds.

The cable describes how in September 2008 Aliyeva and her two daughters hosted “second lady Lynne Cheney” – the wife of former US vice-president Dick Cheney.

It recalls: “Prior to the Second Lady’s arrival, while the three ladies were waiting for Mrs Cheney’s car, one Secret Service agent asked ‘which one of those is the mother?’

“Emboffs (embassy officials) and White House staff studied the three for several moments, and then Emboff said, ‘Well, logically the mother would probably stand in the middle.'”

US diplomats tell Washington that, despite being an MP, the president’s wife appears “poorly informed about political issues.”

Her family’s vast business interests, meanwhile, include several banks, an insurance company, construction, travel, and – so far – Azerbaijan’s only Bentley dealership. The cable also adds that her collection of contemporary art forms the basis of Baku’s new museum of modern art.

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