BAKU: Foreign Ministry May Review Appeals From "Blacklisted" Persons


AzerNews, Azerbaijan
Sept 13 2013

By Sara Rajabova

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry may consider incoming appeals of some
people who were previously “blacklisted” over illegal visits to the
Armenian-occupied territories of Azerbaijan requesting to cancel
the decision, Foreign Ministry spokesman Elman Abdullayev said on
September 13.

Unauthorized visits to Nagorno-Karabakh and other regions of Azerbaijan
occupied by Armenia are deemed illegal and individuals paying such
visits are included in the “black list” of the Foreign Ministry.

As a rule, the appeals asking to cancel this decision indicate that
these persons were taken to the occupied territories by deception.

Recently, the Foreign Ministry expressed concern over a visit by
Danish parliament members and journalists to the occupied territories
of Azerbaijan.

Earlier, Abdullayev said persons who visit the occupied territories of
Azerbaijan without having agreed upon this with relevant authorities
of the country will be considered persona non grata in the country.

Azerbaijan has repeatedly warned foreign officials and diplomats
over visits to the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia,
saying this contradicts international law. The Foreign Ministry
has stated that such visits, paid without prior notification of the
relevant authorities of Azerbaijan, are illegal and damaging to the
settlement process on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Earlier, the Foreign Ministry released a list of those declared persona
non grata over illegal visits to the Armenian-occupied territories,
which included 335 people.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict emerged in 1988 when Armenia made
territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since a lengthy war in the early
1990s that displaced over one million Azerbaijanis, Armenian armed
forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally
recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent
regions. The UN Security Council’s four resolutions on Armenian
withdrawal have not been enforced to this day.

Peace talks, mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. through the OSCE
Minsk Group, are underway on the basis of a peace outline proposed
by the Minsk Group co-chairs and dubbed the Madrid Principles. The
negotiations have been largely fruitless so far.