by Ashot Safaryan
Azerbaijan is panic-stricken by the Lithuania-Artsakh Parliamentary Friendship Group delegation's visit to Artsakh.
According to APA, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Lithuania Hasan Mammadzadeh said that the Lithuanian MP's visit to Armenia and then to Karabakh triggered serious public condemnation and criticism in Lithuania itself.
He noted that he held meetings with the Vice-Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas, the Chairman of the Parliament's Foreign Relations Committee and the Deputy Foreign Minister. "Friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Lithuania were especially emphasized at each of those meetings. Lithuania's parliamentary and governmental leaders, intellectuals, the country's leading media outlets and MPs strongly condemned the visit. Each of them stresses Azerbaijan being an important strategic partner for Lithuania during the meetings with me and criticizes this visit", he said.
Mammadzadeh noted that as a protest against this visit, Lithuania's 15 well-known public organizations are going to appeal to the President of Lithuania with a joint statement.
In the meantime, in response to APA's request, the Foreign Ministry of Lithuania said that Dalia Kuodyte is a member of the Lithuanian Parliament and that at the moment she is on a personal trip to Armenia and Nagorno- Karabakh on her own initiative.
The Ministry points out that Dalia Kuodyte's trip will not affect Lithuania's stance on the Karabakh peace process and the Azeri-Armenian relations. The Foreign Ministry of Lithuania believes that the MP's personal trip will not harm the actively developing friendly ties between Lithuania and Azerbaijan.
To note, on September 1 the members of the delegation of the Lithuania-Artsakh Parliamentary Friendship Group headed by Dalia Kuodyte visited Nagorno-Karabakh and held a number of meetings there.