Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 13 / Trend /
The Azerbaijani leadership and the Foreign Ministry have received appeals from some individuals who have been previously included on a black list for illegally visiting the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. These individuals have asked that the decisions are reversed, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Elman Abdullayev told journalists today.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry may consider these appeals, he said.
Visiting Nagorno-Karabakh and other Azerbaijan's regions occupied by Armenia uncoordinated with the Azerbaijani side is considered illegal and the individuals who have paid such visits are included in a black list of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
As a rule it is indicated in the appeals that these individuals were fraudulently sent to the occupied territories.
As an example, Abdullayev cited an appeal of Johns Hopkins University students who have been also included on the black list of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry for illegally visiting Nagorno-Karabakh.
Students say their visit to the occupied territories was initiated by the Armenian Foreign Ministry.
Member of the Russian State Duma Alexei Mitrofanov and head of the Moscow office 'Voice of America' James Brook and others are among those who appealed to the ministry, Abdullayev said.
In their appeals, they regret the visits and emphasise they recognise the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and ask to have their names deleted from the list.
Abdullayev expressed the hope that in the case of deleting these individuals' names from the black list, they would never again pay such visits to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Otherwise, the Azerbaijani parties may resort to more serious measures in accordance with international law even as far as arrest for violation of the state border.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
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