Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 14
A citizen of the Russian Federation, a member of the "Music for Peace" project, musician Maria Nemtsova, sent a letter to Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry asking for removal of her name from the “List of foreign citizens who illegally visited the occupied territories of Azerbaijan”, the Foreign Ministry told Trend.
In her letter, Maria Nemtsova noted that she traveled to the Nagorno-Karabakh region within the framework of the "Music for Peace" project in 2015 and was unaware of prohibition of traveling to that area without the consent of the government of Azerbaijan, as well as the consequences of this visit.
She underlined that this visit doesn’t mean her disrespect for Azerbaijan and its people.
Reaffirming her full respect to the laws of Azerbaijan, she expressed her apology to the country’s government for an unauthorized visit to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
She also noted that as a result of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, more than one million Azerbaijanis have become refugees and IDPs and more than 20,000 people have lost their lives.
In this context, Nemtsova expressed the intention of the "Music for Peace" project to visit Baku, especially Jojug Marjanli village in order to organize master classes and perform charity concert programs for Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs.
Appeal by Maria Nemtsova was considered and the decision was made to remove her name from the list of people declared personae non gratae.
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.