Baku, Azerbaijan, June 29
By Seba Agahyeva – Trend:
Booking.com, the Netherlands-based travel fare aggregator website, has stopped hotel reservations in the occupied Azerbaijani territories after the country’s appeal, Spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend June 29.
Earlier, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, as well as Azerbaijan’s Embassy in the Netherlands sent an appeal to the Booking.com in connection with its reservation of hotel rooms in the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
The appeal said that if the company continues this activity, Azerbaijan will take appropriate measures.
“Azerbaijan regarded such activity of the company as contradicting the norms of international law, the charter and the relevant decisions of the World Tourism Organization and the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism,” Hajiyev added.
“When booking hotel rooms in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, the company carried out activity that completely contradicts the position of the Netherlands, where the company is officially registered, as well as the position of the EU, which supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan,” Hajiyev said.
He added that such activity of Booking.com contradicts business ethics and is a factor that negatively affects the prestige of the company.
“Taking into account the above-mentioned, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry urged the company to completely cancel hotel bookings in the occupied Azerbaijani territories and not to engage in such activity in the future,” Hajiyev said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries 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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.