German journalist “blacklisted” for illegal visit to occupied lands

By: Sara Rajabova

Azerbaijan’s repeated calls to refrain from visiting country’s Armenia-occupied territories are still ignored by some foreign individuals.

German Die Welt newspaper published an article written by journalist Von Elian Ehrenreich following his illegal visit to the occupied Azerbaijani territories.

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry will add Ehrenreich’s name to the list of undesirable persons due to this unauthorized visit.

Hikmet Hajiyev, the spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry told Trend that the Azerbaijani embassy in Germany will inform Die Welt editorial staff and investigate organizing the illegal trips to the temporarily occupied territories of Azerbaijan by Gebeko company.

Under Azerbaijan’s legislation, 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.”

Hajiyev noted that the journalist’s attempt to present the theme of the conflict from the point of view of religion is beneath criticism.

“Armenia, deprived of political and legal frameworks, is now trying to justify its aggression and temporary occupation under the guise of religion. Everyone knows that the cause of the conflict is territorial claims, temporary occupation and aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan,” the diplomat said.

Hajiyev added that the article makes it clear that the trip was organized and funded by Gebeko travel company.

“One cannot expect a professional and objective journalistic conclusion following a trip organized upon the order. Ehrenreich went beyond journalistic ethics. Under the pressure of the Armenian propaganda, he encourages the separatist regime created as a result of temporary occupation, aggression and ethnic cleansing perpetrated against Azerbaijan. A journalist, who serves to the objective journalistic principles, was to express the position of Azerbaijan, as well as Azerbaijani IDPs, driven from the cities of Shusha and Khankendi,” he underlined.

Hajiyev further stressed that the traditions of multiculturalism in Azerbaijan, its care towards the Orthodox, Catholic and Jewish religious communities, strategic partnership based on the centuries-old friendship with Georgia and between the peoples, are exemplary.

Noting that the name of the German journalist will be included into the “black” list, he said the Azerbaijani embassy in Berlin will investigate organizing the illegal trips to the temporarily occupied territories of Azerbaijan by Gebeko company.

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.

Peace talks mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. have produced no results so far.

SOURCE: AZER NEWS

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