Grant Thornton International respects Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity

By: Sara Rajabova

Grant Thornton International, a U.S. company engaged in audit and consulting services, has assured that it will not allow its members to violate Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.

“Following the press release in the media made by the Ministry of Industry and Economy regarding the publication made by the Armenian member firm of Grant Thornton International in the occupied territory, Farouk Mohamed, managing partner of Grant Thornton Azerbaijan immediately acted positively regarding the ministry concern and assured that under no circumstances, Grant Thornton International will not allow any member firm to violate the laws and regulations of the Azerbaijan government,” the company said in a statement.

Azerbaijan’s Economy and Industry Ministry in late October prevented the release of business guides by Grant Thornton International. The business guides were meant to propagandize economic activity in the Armenia-occupied Azerbaijani lands.

“Based on the above, Grant Thornton Azerbaijan managed to immediately obtain an undertaking from Grant Thornton Armenia member firm that no any such publication or documentation for promotion of unlawful business activities not in the present or in the future directly or indirectly will be issued in respect of Nagorno–Karabakh territory occupied by Armenian forces. The Armenian member firm undertaking has been delivered to the Ministry of Industry,” the company said.

Grant Thornton Azerbaijan noted respect for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and emphasized that its activities are realized in the framework of international law and national legislation.

“This way we will continue to provide high level and professional services to our international partners and clients,” the statement said.

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.

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


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