Details added (first version posted on 12:24)
Baku, Azerbaijan, July 2
By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:
Azerbaijan has expressed protest to the UK over the possible visit of the head of the separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh to this country, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said July 2.
The UK ambassador to Azerbaijan Irfan Siddiq was invited to Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry where the country's Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov expressed strong protest of Azerbaijan over the planned visit of the head of the separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh Bako Sahakyan to the UK on July 8 and participation in the event organized by the Royal Institute of International Affairs.
Following the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the separatist regime was established in Azerbaijan's Nagorno Karabakh.
During the meeting, it was noted that this situation contradicts with the spirit of friendly and strategic relations between Azerbaijan and the UK and is regarded as a step taken against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
Irfan Siddiq for his part said that the UK doesn't recognize the regime in Nagorno-Karabakh and has no relations with it.
The diplomat pledged to convey the concern of the Azerbaijani side to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Moreover, in accordance with the instruction of Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, the country's embassy in the UK held a meeting at UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office on this issue and handed over the letter of protest.
In response to the letter of Azerbaijani embassy, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that it supports Azerbaijan's sovereignty and territorial integrity and doesn't recognize the regime created in Nagorno-Karabakh, adding that this position of the country remains unchanged, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said.
Additionally, it was noted that the mentioned visit hasn't been arranged by the government and there will be no meetings with the country's officials during Sahakyan's visit to London.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Edited by SI
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