Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.6
By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:
If the participation of Azerbaijanis in the Syrian fighting is confirmed, legal measures will be taken against them, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Elman Abdullayev said on Feb.6 during a meeting with young people at the Winter University for Young Leaders organised by the Ireli Public Union.
The issue of participation of Azerbaijanis in the Syrian fighting is at the centre of attention of the society and if it is confirmed that they are the Azerbaijani citizens, measures will be taken against them within the law, according to the spokesman.
"If it is proven that they were fighting there as mercenaries or under other conditions, legal measures will be necessarily taken against them. It will be investigated as to why they went there, what kind of activities they are involved in and what role they are playing," Abdullayev said.
Two years ago, Azerbaijan suspended the activities of its diplomatic mission in Syria and transferred it from Damascus to the Lebanese capital Beirut, the spokesman said. All Azerbaijani citizens were evacuated from Syria when the diplomatic mission closed. Therefore, today it is being seriously investigated as to how Azerbaijani citizens get to Syria and who persuaded them to go there.
"If the current situation in Syria was not so tense and if the country had not become an arena of combat operations, it would be much easier to find this information out. However now there are no diplomatic missions from many countries, as well as international organisations in Syria. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan is investigating this issue through various channels," Abdullayev said.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry is considering the issue relating to the country's citizens engaged in the armed conflict in Syria, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told journalists earlier.
"As is known, after the aggravation of the situation in Syria, the Azerbaijani embassy moved to Lebanon. It is difficult for us to control the actions of fellow citizens in Syria. We are closely monitoring the situation and certainly do not want Azerbaijani citizens to be killed in the conflict," the minister said.
There was a proposal made at the Azerbaijani Milli Mejlis (parliament) to initiate criminal cases against the country's citizens fighting in Syria.
Recently, several Azerbaijanis have been killed while participating in the armed conflict in Syria.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by S.M.