Azerbaijan: EU nationals’ visits to occupied lands are deplorable

Azerbaijan: EU nationals’ visits to occupied lands are deplorable
# 02 December 2016 14:55 (UTC +04:00)

Baku. Malahat Najafova – APA. It is deplorable that certain nationals of some EU member states, including journalists from France, Germany, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, Great Britain, Luxemburg, Portugal and Romania travel to the Nagorno-Karabakh region and other occupied territories of Azerbaijan without prior authorization from Azerbaijan, reads a statement from the Permanent Mission of Azerbaijan to the OSCE.

The permanent mission made a statement at the December 1 meeting of the Permanent Council in response to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Mrs. Dunja Mijatovic.

All of them are included in the list of those whose entry to Azerbaijan is denied, says the statement.

“We reiterate that such visitors run a risk of facing appropriate legal proceedings, including in the form of administrative or criminal prosecution,” reads the statement. “States have an obligation to faithfully observe the generally accepted norms and principles of international law by taking measures that would prevent their nationals, including journalists, operating on their territories, to engage in activities that violate these norms, in particular those related to respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other states.”

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 Dec.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.

Nagorno Garabagh