By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Head of the Azerbaijani community of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region Tural Ganjaliyev has said that mutual visits of Azerbaijani and Armenian journalists that were held recently under auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group, contribute to dialogue.
"The visit of Armenian journalists, including a journalist from the Armenian community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan to Baku, Ganja and Guba, and the visit of Azerbaijani journalists to Shusha and Khankendi and meetings with the local Armenian community contribute to the dialogue between the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan," Ganjaliyev said in the statement published at the Community’s website on November 26.
As was noted, a group of journalists from Azerbaijan and Armenia, including from the Armenian community of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region, has recently made mutual visits. The visits were organized by the personal representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk and his representatives in Baku, Yerevan and Khankendi.
"During the visit, Armenian journalists met with their Azerbaijani colleagues, representatives of civil society and research centers, visited Russian Orthodox, Catholic churches, Jewish synagogues peacefully functioning in the country, as well as the ASAN service, the DOST center, Ganja and Guba cities. Also, Armenian journalists were familiarized with the Armenian church in downtown Baku, which stores books in Armenian," the statement reads.
It should be noted the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh also participated in the meetings with Armenian journalists.
The statement notes that Armenian journalists got acquainted with the development of Azerbaijan, the multicultural environment in the country, became eyewitnesses of peace and stability, the state's concern for citizens and the prosperity of the regions.
"Azerbaijani journalists on OSCE vehicles visited Armenia, the occupied Shusha and Khankendi towns, met and held discussions with the Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh," the Community’s message reads.
Ganjaliyev recalled that the Azerbaijani side has always supported and encouraged dialogue, peaceful coexistence of the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.
Baku seeks to ensure equal access to negotiations of the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in the region.
The information about the mutual visit of Azerbaijani and Armenian journalists was circulated on November 23.
Three journalists from Armenia - Artem Yerkanyan, David Alaverdyan and Edgar Elbakyan visited Azerbaijan, in particular, Baku and Ganja.
On the Azerbaijani side, Elchin Valiyev, Elshan Rustamov and Orkhan Yelchuev visited Armenia and occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Nagorno-Karabakh is Azerbaijan’s breakaway region which along with seven surrounding regions came under occupation of Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. So far, Armenia has failed to implement four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions. Around one million Azerbaijanis have been expelled from their homes as a result of occupation.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the U.S., France and Russia have been mediating the peace negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan for over two decades now.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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