BAKU — The ambassadors of 46 countries accredited in Azerbaijan visited occupied Shushi in Nagorno Karabakh on July 9-10 as part of a trip organized on behalf of Azeri President Ilham Aliyev.
The ambassadors of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries – the United States, France and Russia – were not among them. Moreover, Azerbaijani journalists and analysts were most upset by the absence of the Russian ambassador.
The British Ambassador to Azerbaijan also refused to visit Shushi. In response to RFE / RL’s inquiry, the British Embassy in Armenia confirmed that no representative of the British Embassy in Baku took part in the visit organized by the Azerbaijani government.
This fact has caused serious discontent in Azerbaijani society, some calling it a “demarche” against their country. It made the Azerbaijanis extremely angry. Former Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Tofik Zilfugarov stated that they are signaling that after the situation stabilizes, they intend to hold talks on the status of Nagorno Karabakh, acting in accordance with the logic of the Madrid Principles. The former Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan proposes to punish those diplomats, to invite them to any other event until they visit Shushi. Moreover, Zilfugarov offers to formally renounce the OSCE Minsk Group.
“Azerbaijan must show its unequivocal position – renounce the institution of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing. “The time has come to take that step,” the former foreign minister said.