Azerbaijan has sent a note of protest to Mexico after three Mexican parliamentarians visited Nagorno-Karabakh and met with its leaders last week.
They opposition deputies are members of a group in the Mexican lower house of parliament promoting closer ties with Armenia. Two of them, Blanca Cuata and Carlos Hernandez, are affiliated with the leftist MORENA movement, while the other, Maria Garcia, represents the social-democratic PRD party.
The Mexican deputies met with Bako Sahakian, the Karabakh president, and lawmakers in Stepanakert on October 24. They reportedly voiced support for the Armenian-populated territory’s quest for international recognition.
“Allow us to become a part of Artsakh’s (Karabakh’s) history,” the Armenpress news agency quoted Hernandez as saying.
“We know what it means to fight for freedom,” Cuata said, for her part.
President Serzh Sarkisian praised the lawmakers’ trip to Karabakh when he met them in Yerevan on October 27.
Predictably, the trip angered the Azerbaijani government. The APA news agency reported on Tuesday that Azerbaijan’s charge d’affaires in Mexico, Mammad Talibov, has handed a note of protest to the Mexican Foreign Ministry.
Talibov also met with the Mexican parliament speaker, Jorge Ramirez, to condemn the “illegal visit to occupied territories of Azerbaijan” as an Armenian “provocation.” According to APA, Ramirez assured him that the three parliamentarians travelled to Karabakh in their personal capacity and that he regrets their actions.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has blacklisted more than 600 non-Armenian foreign parliamentarians and other dignitaries for visiting Karabakh without Baku’s permission. The blacklist includes three members of the U.S. House of Representatives who travelled to Karabakh in September.
Later in September, the Azerbaijani government also issued an international arrest warrant for four prominent Turkish intellectuals who also toured the disputed region and met with Karabakh Armenian leaders.