By Sara Rajabova
The Foreign Office of Britain has said it had not invited the head of the separatist regime in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region, Bako Sahakyan, to visit the United Kingdom.
"He has not been invited by the British government," the Foreign Office told Trend on July 9.
Earlier, British Ambassador to Azerbaijan Irfan Siddig said Sahakyan made a private visit to the United Kingdom and the government had nothing to do with his visit.
The Armenian media reported that on July 8, Sahakyan visited the Parliament of Great Britain and delivered a speech there.
The speech, however, was not confirmed by the British Parliament’s press service.
Earlier, Baku has expressed protest to the UK over the possible visit of the head of the separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh.
In the meantime, Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the UK, Tahir Tagizade told Trend that the House of Representatives of the British Parliament didn’t accept the head of the separatist regime.
He said this was indicated in an official letter by Matt Ringer, the chief of Public Information for the House of Representatives of the UK.
“Any member of the UK Parliament may order an office in the parliament building on a commercial basis and invite private entities to participate in meetings or to give a speech. That, apparently, was the case with Bako Sahakyan,” Tagizade said.
For over two decades, Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in a conflict that emerged over Armenia's territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions.
Following the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the separatist regime was established in Azerbaijan's occupied Nagorno-Karabakh regime.
A fragile ceasefire has been in place since 1994, but long-standing efforts by U.S., Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.
Armenia has not yet implemented any of the four U.N. Security Council resolutions urging a pullout from its neighboring country's territories.