Azerbaijani diplomat: Armenian separatist leader's visit to Lebanon is of private nature
Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug. 24 / Trend U.Sadikhova /
During the visit to Lebanon, a group of Armenian separatists headed by self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Head Bako Saakyan did not hold any meetings with the Lebanese official circles, Azerbaijani Honorary Consul in Beirut Nazih Gassub told Trend.
The delegation led by Saakyan held meetings with the Armenian communities in the Lebanese village of Anchar, which is populated mainly by Armenians and representatives of the Armenian Church, Gassub told Trend over the telephone.
Earlier, Armenian media reported that Saakyan and his delegation met with Lebanese ministers, deputies and heads of local self-government of Armenian descent, as well as the Catholicos of Cilicia Aram I.
However, Gassub refuted the information about the official meetings of Saakyan and his delegation with the Lebanese side, referring to the Lebanese authorities' response to the official request of the Azerbaijani side.
Regarding Armenia's information about presence of the official representation of the so-called Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in Beirut, Gassub said that there is no agency, both private and official, which would named Karabakh and represented the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in Lebanon.
"Lebanon officially recognizes the Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan's territory," Gassub said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 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 the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.
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