Azerbaijan takes Russia's ex-presidential candidate off "black list" (UPDATE)
details added (first version posted at 12:31)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 19
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has excluded the name of Andrey Bogdanov, the Russian ex-presidential candidate, from the list of "undesirable people", the ministry said Jan. 19.
Bogdanov's name was included due to his illegal visit to the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia.
Bogdanov, the Russian politician, who ran for the presidency in Russia in 2008, appealed to the Azerbaijani foreign ministry with a request to exclude his name from the list of "undesirable people".
In his letter, Bogdanov said that he recognizes the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan and has paid a visit to the occupied territories of the country, not knowing about possible consequences.
Bogdanov regretted visiting Nagorno-Karabakh, saying he didn't try to promote the separatist regime in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
The visits to Nagorno-Karabakh and other Armenia-occupied regions of Azerbaijan without Azerbaijan's consent are considered illegal, and the names of the individuals who made these visits are included on the "black list" of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
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 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.