Azerbaijan sends protest note to French FM (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted at 12:51)
Azerbaijan , Baku, Aug. 23 / Trend E.Tariverdiyeva /
The Azerbaijani Embassy in Paris presented a note protesting the French Foreign Ministry in connection with the French MPs' illegal visit to the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia, First Secretary of the Foreign Ministry Spokesman Elman Abdullayev told Trend.
"The French MPs will be included on the" black list "of persons whose entrance to Azerbaijan is undesired, due to lack of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and for not informing relevant Azerbaijani government bodies about visiting the Nagorno-Karabakh region", Abdullayev said.
He said the Azerbaijani embassy in Paris has sent a protest note to the French Foreign Ministry. The Azerbaijani side also appealed to the French Foreign Ministry with a request to seek clarification from the French National Assembly .
"In this letter, Baku demanded an explanation in connection with the French parliamentary delegation's visit to the occupied Azerbaijani territories", he said.
Earlier, France repeatedly voiced official support for Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.
The Azatutun ("Freedom") radio station reported that at a meeting with the Karabakh parliamentarians on Aug.22, the Chairman of the French Assembly's defense and armed forces committee Guy Tessier said, "Can it really be true that the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh should again face difficulties living on land that belongs to them due to one dictator's whim?"
Tessier , who led the delegation, is the mayor of the ninth and tenth arrondissement of Marseille, which is densely populated by Armenians. Teissier, being under the influence of the Armenian Diaspora, is apparently trying to gain Armenian votes in the run-up legislative elections in France in 2012 by distorting facts and speaking with pro-Armenian views in the occupied territories.
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 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.