Azerbaijan hands diplomatic note to Iran over ‘illegal crossings’ to Karabakh
Note expresses dissatisfaction with ‘recent continuous entry-exit of various vehicles belonging to Iran’
Azerbaijan on Wednesday handed a diplomatic note to the Iranian ambassador over "illegal travel of trucks belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran to Karabakh."
In a statement, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said the Iranian envoy was invited to the ministry over the issue.
"During the meeting, Ambassador's attention was drawn to the undesirable facts revealed in connection with the illegal travel of trucks belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran to Karabakh, and Note Verbal was submitted to the opposite side," the ministry said.
Azerbaijani officials expressed "dissatisfaction with the recent continuous entry-exit of various vehicles belonging to the friendly Islamic Republic of Iran to Karabakh region of Azerbaijan” without permission.
“In the course of the meeting, it was noted that the new Iranian Administration will take practical steps to put an end to such disturbing cases incompatible with the spirit of close friendship and partnership relations between the two countries,” the statement said.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
New clashes erupted last September and ended on Nov. 10 with a Russia-brokered cease-fire.
During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from Armenia's nearly three-decade occupation.
*Merve Aydogan contributed to this story from Ankara