Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 25
Embassy of Azerbaijan in Canada sent a note to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development regarding illegal visit by two members of Canadian Parliament, Tony Clement and Rachel Harder, to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan on Sept. 2, 2017, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s Spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend Jan. 25.
The MPs' names were included in the "List of Unwanted Persons" by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan.
“In the Note of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development it is reaffirmed that Canada recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, including Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over the occupied region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven surrounding territories. It also states that Canada does not recognize the "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic" or its "officials", and Government of Canada continues to support the OSCE Minsk Group process as the best means for the peaceful resolution of the conflict,” said Hajiyev.
“Furthermore, the Note states that two members of the Canadian Parliament were not traveling on behalf of the Government of Canada; nor the Government of Canada received prior notice of their plans. It is also stressed that Canada is aware of Azerbaijan’s policy on entry to Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions of Azerbaijan, and Canada warns its citizens against all travel to the region and that such travel without the permission of Azerbaijani authorities is illegal under the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan,” added the spokesman.
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.