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Booking.com stops hotel reservations in occupied Azerbaijani lands

30 June 2017 11:00 (UTC+04:00)
Booking.com stops hotel reservations in occupied Azerbaijani lands

By Rashid Shirinov

Booking.com, the Netherlands-based travel fare aggregator website, has stopped hotel reservations in the occupied Azerbaijani territories after the country's appeal, Spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend on June 29.

Earlier, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, as well as Azerbaijan’s Embassy in the Netherlands sent an appeal to the Booking.com in connection with its reservation of hotel rooms in the Armenia-occupied Azerbaijani territories.

The appeal said that if the company continues this activity, Azerbaijan will take appropriate measures.

“Azerbaijan regarded such activity of the company as contradicting the norms of international law, the charter and the relevant decisions of the World Tourism Organization and the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism,” Hajiyev said.

“When booking hotel rooms in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, the company carries out activity that completely contradicts the position of the Netherlands, where the company is officially registered, as well as the position of the EU, which supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan,” Hajiyev added.

He also noted that such activity of Booking.com contradicts business ethics and is a factor that negatively affects the prestige of the company.

“Taking into account the above-mentioned, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry urged the company to completely cancel hotel bookings in the occupied Azerbaijani territories and not to engage in such activity in the future,” Hajiyev said.

Azerbaijan takes necessary measures against those, who are engaged in illegal business or economic activity in the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia. Moreover, unauthorized visits to Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied regions of Azerbaijan are considered illegal and individuals who pay such visits are included in the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s “black list”.

Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions from Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and nearly 1 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. within the OSCE Minsk Group have produced no results so far.

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Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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