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Baku Irked By California Officials' Visit To Artsakh

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  • Baku Irked By California Officials' Visit To Artsakh

    Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

    Azeri Foreign Ministry Spokesman Elman Abdullayev

    LOS ANGELES-Amid news of the visit to Artsakh by a delegation of
    California elected officials, organized with the help of the Armenian
    National Committee of America-Western Region, the foreign ministry
    of Azerbaijan has made an announcement that the officials will be
    banned from visiting Azerbaijan in the future, as the Baku's new
    policy dictates.

    The Azeri foreign ministry's spokesperson, Elman Abdullayev, expressed
    anger at the planned visit and confirmed that the delegation, which
    includes California Speaker of the House John Perez and Los Angeles
    City Council Member Bob Blumenfield, will be added to Azerbaijan's
    newly invented list of personae non gratae.

    The Azeri government announced this policy in August of 2013 and
    has so far added more than 300 government officials, journalists,
    and renowned artists on its blacklist.

    Prior to the visit, the Turkish-Azeri lobby in California sent online
    instructions to its followers, asking to help stop the planned visit.

    The Turkish-Azeri lobby accused the ANCA of being deceitful and
    interfering in American foreign policy.

    ANCA Western Region Chair Nora Hovsepian, speaking to,
    said, "We are proud to serve as a bridge between government
    representatives and the people of California and Armenia and are
    looking forward to what promises to be a very memorable trip that
    will set the foundation for similar visits with other officials in
    the future."

    The former Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles, Grigor
    Hovhannissian, who helped to arrange the visit, said, "The California
    State legislative delegation to Armenia is a long overdue and
    groundbreaking development. We are very pleased that Speaker Perez
    and a bipartisan group of legislators will be arriving in our country
    at the invitation of the Governments of Armenia and Artsakh."

    He added, "We are hopeful that this first in kind mission would leave
    a lasting impact and contribute to strengthening political contacts
    between the Republic of Armenia and the great State of California."

    From: A. Papazian