Baku, Azerbaijan, June 12
Azerbaijan does not agree with most of the stories published on Eurasianet.org about the country and considers them biased, Head of the Press Service of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmet Hajiyev told Trend June 12 commenting on the information on social networks about the Eurasianet correspondent Joshua Kucera's visit to the occupied lands.
"But considering the fact that Eurasianet.org has sent a preliminary appeal to Azerbaijan about the visit of the reporter to the occupied lands, as well as the respect shown by it to the laws and territorial integrity of the country, and based on the principles of respect for freedom of media, there was no objection to the visit of the reporter," Hajiyev said.
Hajiyev noted that on May 25 and 30 the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry received two official letters signed by the Director General of Eurasianet.org, located in New York, about visit of Joshua Kuchera, Turkey & Caucasus Editor, to Nagorno-Karabakh on June 2-9.
"The letter expressed respect for the laws of Azerbaijan and understanding that Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. The letter also noted that the visit does not imply recognition of any sort of status of Karabakh or disrespect for territorial integrity and sovereignty," Hajiyev added.
He noted that the letters were accepted as an application for accreditation of media representative in Azerbaijan.
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.