Baku urges U.S. companies to abstain from activities in occupied lands

By: Sara Rajabova

Baku has called on American companies not to engage in illegal activities in Azerbaijan’s Armenian-occupied territories.

Sahil Babayev, Azerbaijan’s deputy minister of economy and industry said the U.S. companies should refrain from illegal activities in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

“Restoration of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is the most important issue for us. Armenia occupied 20 percent of our territory and now attracts foreign companies to invest in the occupied territories. We would like the U.S. companies to refrain from that,” Babayev said at the Azerbaijani-U.S. business forum held in Baku on November 19.

Despite Baku’s constant efforts to prevent illegal activities by foreign companies and individuals in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories, some companies continue to engage in such activities.

Babayev said that the U.S. companies should not become the fraud victims of the shows staged by Armenia, stressing that any activity on the occupied territories is a violation of all international norms.

“There were cases when the Armenian side invited different companies to Yerevan and then offered to visit regions of the country, but took representatives of these companies to Nagorno-Karabakh instead and encouraged them to invest there,” he said.

Babayev further noted that Azerbaijan will undertake measures to prevent the illegal activities in country’s occupied territories.

Under Azerbaijan’s national laws, any illegal activity in the occupied lands of Azerbaijan can be cause for a prosecution. Also, unauthorized visits to Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied regions of Azerbaijan are considered illegal and individuals who pay such visits are included in Azerbaijani foreign ministry’s “black list.”

The “black list” of foreign citizens who illegally visited territories under Armenian occupation included 501 people from 49 countries, according to the research conducted by the DailyKarabakh website.

Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions of Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and nearly one million were displaced as a result of the war.

Large-scale hostilities ended with a Russia-brokered ceasefire in 1994, but Armenia continued the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal.


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