|U.S. Representatives Frank Pallone (R) and Tulsi Gabbard meet officials in Stepanakert.|
I am generally in favor of secessionists movements but the Empire really needs to stop sticking its nose in global conflicts.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has called a recent visit to its breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh by three U.S. lawmakers a "provocation" and said
it had blacklisted them, Russian news agency Interfax reported.
"[U.S. House of Representatives. Frank Pallone, David Valadao, and Tulsi Gabbard] paid an illegal visit to the occupied Azerbaijani territories, thus breaching Azerbaijani law," Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Hikmet Hajiyev told Interfax. "All three are added to the list of undesirable persons in Azerbaijan."
The three members of Congress visited Armenia and made a side trip to Artsakh in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 20
The legislators' visit was "a provocation aimed at undermining efforts of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, including the United States, in settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," he told Interfax.
While in Artsakh, the U.S. legislators, who are members of the U.S. Congressional Armenian Caucus, met with Nagorno-Karabakh legislators and visited the Shushi Arts College and a cathedral.
Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh for years, explains Radio Free Europe.
Populated mainly by ethnic Armenians, Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence from Azerbaijan amid a 1988-94 war that claimed an estimated 30,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
Internationally mediated negotiations involving the OSCE's so-called Minsk Group helped forge a cease-fire in the region, which is not always honored, but have failed to produce a lasting settlement of the conflict.