Swiss Ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser: Switzerland will try to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without questioning the established formats such as the OSCE Minsk process
by David Stepanyan
Informal meetings of representatives of the Armenian and Azerbaijani civic societies are quite rare. They meet only outside the region, which makes such meetings expensive and not easy to organize. In addition, Armenian analysts and civic society representatives cannot travel to Azerbaijan, Director of the Caucasus Institute Alexander Iskandaryan told ArmInfo.
"Meanwhile. foreign citizens visiting Nagorny Karabakh find themselves in the 'black lists of personas non-grata' in Azerbaijan. I think, it is necessary to do everything quite on the contrary in order to avoid paranoidism characteristic to close societies. Karabakh should be opened not closed. It is necessary to try to talk to the Karabakh people. After all, Baku considers Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, but the citizens of Azerbaijan cannot travel to Karabakh," he said. In this light, the political scientist believes that Baku's policy is a failed PR.
Earlier on 23 September, Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry has removed four foreigners from the list of the people, who have visited the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. A member of Russia's State Duma Alexei Mitrofanov, head of the Moscow office 'Voice of America' James Brook , Johns Hopkins University students Ivan Benovich and Nicholas Vondra are those 'happy' people that have been removed from the list of "persona non grata" after expressing their sincere regret for visiting Nagorno Karabakh.
They appealed to the government of Azerbaijan and expressed their remorse, after which their names were removed from the list of "persona non grata". Azerbaijan has already blacklisted 300 prominent and well-known people who 'dared' to visit Nagorno Karabakh 'without permission of Baku.'