Famous astronaut excluded from Azerbaijan’s list of undesirable persons

Switzerland’s first astronaut Claude Nicollier addressed a letter to the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking for the removal of his name from the ‘List of foreign citizens illegally visited the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan’, Trend reports with reference to the ministry.

In his letter, Nicollier emphasized his respect to the sovereignty of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as underlined that he was unaware about the consequences of the visit.

Appeal by Nicollier was appropriately considered and the decision was made to remove his name from the mentioned list.

Visiting Nagorno Karabakh and other occupied Azerbaijani territories without agreement with the Azerbaijani side is considered illegal, and the names of the persons who make such visits are included in the “black list” of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.