Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 1 / Trend E.Tariverdiyeva /
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry invited U.S Charge d'Affaires in Azerbaijan Adam Sterling to the ministry on Sept. 24 to hand over a note of protest, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Elkhan Polukhov told Trend today.
The serious diplomatic measure was taken because the so-called Parliamentary Speaker of separatist Nagorno-Karabakh, Ashot Ghulyan, met Howard Berman, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, as reported by the Armenian media.
"During a meeting at the foreign ministry, Sterling was handed a protest note over the plans for organization of visits by the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh authorities to the U.S. He was informed that Azerbaijan's position remains unchanged. Azerbaijan will respond to such events with principle and strength because the country regards the organization of such visits as unacceptable - especially considering that the U.S. is one of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs," Polukhov said.
According to Polukhov, upon the subsequent information provided by the U.S. State Department to the Azerbaijani Embassy in Washington, the U.S. side assured that Ghulyan's visit was made in a private capacity and no official meetings were held with him.
"The American side also assured the Azerbaijani side in the immutability of its position regarding the recognition of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and non-recognition of any separatist organizations in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan," Polukhov said.