Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Aivazian meeting with Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan in Stepanakert

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has protested a visit of Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Aivazian to Nagorno-Karabakh republic, calling it a provocation and “an attempt to incite tension.”

Aliyev said Armenian officials must stop visiting Karabakh without Baku’s permission. “Let them not forget about the war,” he said, according to the TASS news agency.

Ayvazian travelled to Stepanakert on January 5 for talks with Karabakh’s leaders. He sign a program of consultations with newly appointed Atsakh Foreign Minister David Babayan.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Anna Naghdaliyan, dismissed Azerbaijani claim as “completely baseless.”

In written comments to the Interfax news agency, Naghdalyan insisted that the truce agreement “does not place any restrictions on contacts between Armenia and Karabakh at various levels.” Nor does it specify Karabakh’s status, she said.

Naghdalyan said that Baku itself is violating a key provision of the agreement by refusing to free dozens of Armenian soldiers and civilians that were captured during the six-week war.

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