Former Massachusetts Congressman Bill Delahunt has a $180K six-month contract to promote positive relations between Azerbaijan and the U.S.

delahuntHis Delahunt Group, which is based in Quincy, joins APCO Worldwide, which recently signed a two-month $50K deal to represent the interests of the former Soviet Union state.

Delahunt work is through West Coast Communications in Los Angeles.

The liberal Democrat chaired the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight.

The Council of Europe human rights watchdog on April 23 expressed concern over a pattern of abuse in Azerbaijan, which is headed by Ilham Aliyev, who succeeded his father in 2003.

CoE charged Aliyev’s regime with muzzling criticism and jailing dissidents.

It said the rights situation in Azerbaijan has deteriorated since CoE last report in August.

Delahunt is remembered for ironing out a deal in 2005 with the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez to import low-cost energy to heat the homes of 500K poor people in the Bay State and New York City.

Citgo, the Venezuelan oil company, publicized the effort via a flashy TV and print campaign featuring another former Massachusetts politico Joe Kennedy.

Delahunt later rapped Chavez for his fiery United Nations address, in which he blistered President George W. Bush.

He stepped down from Capitol Hill in 2011.