BAKU ANNOUNCES THE NEW YORK TIMES JOURNALIST PERSONA NON GRATA

AzerNews, Azerbaijan
April 10 2015

10 April 2015, 17:18 (GMT+05:00)
By Mushvig Mehdiyev

Baku included a journalist of The New-York Times on its list of
undesirable persons held by Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry after the
reporter made an illegal visit to the Azerbaijani territories under
Armenia's occupation.

Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Hikmet Hajiyev said the article
by Seth Kugel, the New York Times journalist, distorted the real
situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, showing a clear
disrespect to the readers of the newspaper.

"Kugel's action is also disrespectful to the rights of more than
one million Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons
who suffered from bloody ethnic cleansing atrocities in the occupied
territories. It is regrettable for The New-York Times to publish such
an article," Hajiyev said.

Writing about his illegal visit to Nagorno-Karabakh, and Shusha city
in particular, Kugel titled his article "A warm welcome in the South
Caucasus mountains", where he described the lifestyle and nature in
the occupied Azerbaijani lands.

Hajiyev said Kugel avoided deliberately to properly reflect certain
facts -- looting of property in the occupied lands belonging to
Azerbaijani people, the destruction of material culture samples and
the Islamic monuments in his biased article written on order from
the Armenian lobby.

"I would like to remind the management of The New-York Times, which
published that biased article about "tourist trips" to the occupied
territories presenting it "safe for travelers", that its journalist
failed to mention that such transnational crimes as human trafficking,
production and sale of drugs, illicit arms trafficking, training of
terrorists are organized in these territories," he concluded.

Visiting the occupied lands without Baku's official permit is
considered a violation of the country's law and a clear disrespect
of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Foreign Ministry
developed a special black list for all those who have failed to comply
with Baku's requirements and made illegal visits to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan's internationally recognized Nagorno-Karabakh territory
has become a conflict zone following Armenia's aggression in the
early 1990s. As a result of Armenia's armed invasion, 20 percent of
Azerbaijan's territory fell under Armenia's occupation. Although the
OSCE has attempted to foster a peaceful resolution to this conflict
Armenia has remained persistent in its aggressive stance.

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