Armenians Ask for Asylum in Austria under Azerbaijani Surnames: Ambassador

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 20 September 2007 18:33 (UTC +04:00)
Armenians Ask for Asylum in   Austria under Azerbaijani Surnames: Ambassador

Azerbaijan, Baku / corr. Trend S.Agayeva / Armenians seeking asylum in Austria are doing so under Azerbaijani surnames. The Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Austria, Fuad Ismaylov, reported on 20 September by telephone that the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Austria has repeatedly faced the problems when the Service of the Federal Asylum of Austria appealed to the Embassy for clarifying such facts.

"Presenting themselves as victims of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, people of Armenian nationality are hoping to obtain asylum in Austria," the Ambassador said.

The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to territorial claims by Armenia against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, Armenia has occupied 20% of Azerbaijani land including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.

The Embassy of Azerbaijan to Vienna submitted several materials to the Federal Asylum Service of Austria's Interior Ministry. The materials incriminated illegal Armenians who reside within Austria and present themselves as Azerbaijanis. He could not highlight the exact statistics of such facts, but said that their number is plenty.

The Embassy does not have information on the number of the Azerbaijanis who illegally reside in Austria. "A certain number of the persons of Armenian nationality who illegally reside in the territory of Austria should leave the country. In many cases, they give false information and present themselves as Azerbaijanis, or former citizens of Azerbaijan," the Ambassador said.

According to him, the Embassy is not engaged in identifying the nationality of these persons, but presents existing materials to the Government organizations of Austria.

Currently the two countries are actively working for regulating cooperation in this sphere, the Ambassador said. According to him, the mission of the Federal Service plans to visit Azerbaijan at the beginning of October to discuss the issues of cooperation. The diplomat considers that it needs to devise a document to regulate this issue. There is a framework agreement between Azerbaijan and Austria in this sphere and if necessary, the sides will devise a project of agreement between the Federal Service of Austria and the State Migration Service of Azerbaijan, the Ambassador said.