‘The information about the persons, who have visited the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, is checked thoroughly. As soon as the information is received about the visit of any person to our occupied territories, we check it and after confirmation include that person into the list. We have tried to include in this list all the persons, about whose visits we were informed,’ spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Elman Abdullayev said in his interview to APA.
Abdullayev noted that most of the visitors to our occupied territories were misguided there: ‘The Armenian side formed false opinion on those persons that they visit Armenian territory. In many cases, those people made concrete and open protest statements. After having understood that they violated the law on State Border of the Republic of Azerbaijan, those persons protested and tried to contact with the Azerbaijani side. This list is not a permanent ist, it’s flexible. If a person visiting the occupied territories without the consent of Azerbaijan understands that this is contrary to the law and repents of his/her act, then he/she can appeal to the relevant bodies of Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani side is ready to consider such appeals for removing the name of this person from the list’.
Explaining the reason why former EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Peter Semneby has also been included into the list of “persona non grata”, Abdullayev noted that Semneby did not visit the occupied territories of Azerbaijan when worked as special representative: ‘After leaving the post, he organized an event in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan as a representative of one of the NGOs. As he did it without the consent of Azerbaijan, he has been included into the “black list”.