Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 24
By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:
Creating a visa-free regime between breakaway regions is illegal, Hikmet Hajiyev, spokesperson for Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, told reporters Feb. 24.
He was commenting on the information about the possibility of creation of a visa-free regime between the breakaway regions of Azerbaijan and Georgia - Nagorno-Karabakh and Abkhazia.
"Azerbaijan supports Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and this position has been once again reflected in the Tbilisi declaration adopted during the fifth trilateral meeting of Azerbaijani, Georgian and Turkish foreign ministers," said Hajiyev.
He added that there is an unrecognized regime on the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia.
Hajiyev said the visa matters on Azerbaijan's territory are regulated under the Azerbaijani Migration Code and any activity beyond this is illegal.
"There is a warning about trips on the website of Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry," he said. "The Foreign Ministry calls on Azerbaijani citizens not to visit the mentioned territories, which are not controlled by Georgia's central government, without a permission of relevant structures."
A large-scale military action was launched between Georgia and Russia in South Ossetia on August 8, 2008. Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military.
Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in late August. In response, Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow and called the two unrecognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia the occupied territories.
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 withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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