By Rashid Shirinov
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry has removed the name of a Russian citizen Maria Nemtsova, who is a member of the "Music for Peace" project, from its list of unwanted persons, the ministry told Trend on February 14.
Nemtsova sent a letter to Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry asking for removal of her name from the “List of foreign citizens who illegally visited the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.” In her letter, Nemtsova noted that she visited the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan within the "Music for Peace" project in 2015 and was unaware of prohibition of traveling to that territory without the consent of the Azerbaijani government, as well as the consequences of this.
"This visit did not mean my disrespect for Azerbaijan and its people," she noted in the letter, adding that as a result of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, more than one million Azerbaijanis became refugees and IDPs and more than 20,000 people were killed.
Reaffirming her full respect to the Azerbaijani laws, Nemtsova apologized to the government and people of the country for her unauthorized visit to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. She also expressed her intention to visit Baku, especially the liberated Jojug Marjanli village within the "Music for Peace" project in order to organize master classes and perform charity concert programs for Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs.
"Maria Nemtsova's appeal was duly considered and the decision was made to remove her name from the black list," Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry noted.
Names of any individuals paying unauthorized visits to Nagorno-Karabakh and other regions of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia are included in the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's list of unwanted persons. The ministry and diplomatic missions pay special attention to the illegal activity in the occupied areas of the country.
Baku has repeatedly warned foreign officials and diplomats of illegality of visits to its territories that are occupied by Armenia, calling them contradictory to international law. The work is constantly carried out to prevent such illegal actions.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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