Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry: Armenia should realize that renaming Azerbaijani cities hinders constructive negotiation process (UPDATE)

Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry: Armenia should realize that renaming Azerbaijani cities hinders constructive negotiation process (UPDATE)

EDITOR's NOTE: Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman's remarks added after the third paragraph

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 2 / corr Trend S.Agayeva /

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry considers a decision of self-proclaimed "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic" to rename the Azerbaijani Agdam region by giving it an Armenian name "Akna" ridiculous.

"This decision of self-proclaimed "Nagorno Karabakh Republic" causes laugh," Foreign Ministry spokesman Elkhan Polukhov told Trend.

By the decision of the government of self-proclaimed "Nagorno Karabakh Republic", the Agdam region was renamed as "Akna" and became one of the quarters of the Askeran city, Armenia Today reports.

"The value of this decision is only paper and ink that were used to prepare this document," Polukhov said. "But at the same time Armenia's attempts to introduce separatist formation as an independent state by taking such steps and inviting various foreign visitors to the occupied territories are surprising," he added.

Polukhov said apparently still there are forces in the political establishment of Armenia that are trying to destabilize the situation instead of continuing the constructive dialogue by seeking to reach a comprehensive peace in the region.

The Armenian political elite must understand that this kind of ridiculous steps can lead to serious consequences, Polukhov stressed.

"Experience shows that foreigners, invited by the Armenian side to the Nagorno-Karabakh, usually refuse if they learn about the situation before the trip. The fact on the French actor Gerard Depardieu and Russian singer Katya Lel, who acknowledged that were brought to the Nagorno-Karabakh by fraud, can serve as a striking example," Polukhov said.

The Armenian side must realize that such attempts can in no way promote a lasting peace in the region and hampers the constructive negotiation process.

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 and the surrounding regions.

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