Azerbaijan declares US congressmen persona non grata
Members of the US House of Representatives – David Valadao, Frank Pallone and Tulsi Gabbard have been included in the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s list of people declared persona non grata, for illegally visiting the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia, Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, told APA.
Hajiyev noted that the US congressmen’s illegal visit to the occupied Azerbaijan territories means a flagrant violation of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty as well as the laws “On entry into the country, exit from the country, and passports”, “On the state border of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
According to him, by this illegal visit, the US congressmen breach the norms and principles of international law, the Helsinki Final Act, at the same time, justify and support the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia, the bloody ethnic cleansing of more than one million peaceful Azerbaijanis in the occupied territories and aggressive separatism.
“Unfortunately, these kinds of unlawful and biased visits undermine the authority of the US Congress in Azerbaijan’s society and on the international arena,”
Hajiyev emphasized that such actions, taken jointly with Armenia and the Armenian lobby, are provocative and serve to undermine the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, including the United States, in ensuring peace and stability in the region.
“These individuals have repeatedly proved being under the financial influence of Armenian lobbyist circles operating in the US, especially the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), a radical, racist organization. Under what financial terms this visit has taken place should be investigated by the appropriate ethics committees of the US Congress,” the spokesman said.
“We also urge the other members of the US House of Representatives, who respect the moral and ethical values and the rule of law at national and international levels, as well as the voters of the areas where these people have been elected from to properly evaluate and condemn the actions of David Valadao, Frank Pallone and Tulsi Gabbard,” he added.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in December 1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.
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