BAKU (Hetq)–Azerbaijan said Friday it was adding seven members of a French parliamentary delegation to a blacklist of people banned from the country for visiting the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.
Azerbaijan has recently stepped up efforts to prevent foreigners from visiting Karabakh and last month had declared five Russian lawmakers persona non grata for visiting the region.
“We have confirmed that they visited the occupied territories and as a result have included their names on the list of people whose presence in Azerbaijan is undesirable,” foreign ministry spokesman Elkhan Polukhov told AFP.
He said French National Assembly members Arlette Grosskost, Pascale Crozon, Richard Mallie, Rene Rouquet, Francois Rochebloine and Michel Diefenbacher would be added to the blacklist after visiting Karabakh this week.
Also banned was Jean-Pierre Delannoy, the secretary of the assembly’s France-Armenia Friendship Group.
“This policy of the Azerbaijani state concerns politicians of any rank from any country,” Polukhov said.
“People holding certain positions or representing elected bodies must more seriously consider proposals to visit Azerbaijan’s occupied territories.”