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Azerbaijan: Fresh travel advisory by US ‘surprising’

US State Department includes Azerbaijan in list of countries with ‘increased security threat’

11.01.2018
Azerbaijan: Fresh travel advisory by US ‘surprising’ Azerbaijan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev

BAKU, Azerbaijan 

Azerbaijan on Thursday expressed surprise at a recent advisory by the U.S. which recommends travelers to exercise increased caution when traveling to the country.

“It is surprising that the U.S. Department of State released such a statement on Azerbaijan which hosted the 1st European Games, the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games, Formula 1 races, U.S. and Russian chiefs of general staffs and high-ranking military officials from NATO and Russia,” Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

His remarks came after the U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory to its citizens on Wednesday including Azerbaijan in the list of countries with "increased security threat".

“Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Azerbaijan,” the advisory said.

“Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants…” it added.

Condemning all kinds of terrorism, Hajiyev said: “In the recent years, the number of tourists coming to Azerbaijan has increased by 24 percent. Azerbaijan hosted 2.7 million tourists in 2017.”

The U.S. State Department also recommended travelers not to go to the Upper Karabakh region due to armed conflict. “Avoid roads near the ‘line of contact’ and roads near the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” the advisory said.

Hajiyev said the government guaranteed security and stability in the country.

“Except the soils occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijani government holds the security of the country under control,” he said.

Reporting by Ruslan Rehimov:Writing by Nilay Kar

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