In 2018, the names of 96 foreign citizens who, despite the warnings of Azerbaijan, made illegal visits to the occupied territories, were included in the “List of foreign citizens who illegally visited the occupied territories of the Azerbaijan Republic”, ONA reports.
The report on the activities of the Cabinet of Ministers for 2018 states that as a result of the measures taken, a number of foreign citizens appealed to the Azerbaijani side and apologized for the visit to the occupied territories.
At the same time, they stated that they respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Foreign citizens also asked to exclude or not include their names in the list of undesirable persons drawn up by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
In general, on the basis of relevant requests and data in 2014-2018, the names of 40 individuals were excluded from the list.
During the reporting period, on the basis of the Foreign Ministry materials, criminal proceedings were instituted against two foreign citizens and legal entities in these territories in the Azerbaijani Prosecutor General’s Office regarding illegal visits to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan against Basel, Vallex Group " and etc.
It should be noted that the current stage of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict began in 1988 with the territorial claims of the Armenian SSR against the Azerbaijan SSR. In 1991–1994, a fierce struggle was fought over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan. As a result, 20 percent of the territory of Azerbaijan - Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent areas (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fizuli, Jabrail, Gubadli, Zangilan) were occupied by the Armed Forces of Armenia, more than a million people became refugees and displaced persons. The hostilities were completed by signing an agreement on the cease-fire regime between Azerbaijan and Armenia in May 1994 in Bishkek.
The OSCE Minsk Group deals with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which was established at a meeting of the Council of Ministers of the structure held on March 24, 1992 in Helsinki. The Minsk Group includes Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States of America, France, Poland, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden. In December 1996, the OSCE Minsk Group’s co-chairmanship institute began functioning, including Russia, the United States and France.
In 1993, the UN Security Council, with short interruptions, adopted resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884, requiring the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from all the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. In addition, there are resolutions of the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, as well as other organizations and structures.