Danish MPs in hot water for visiting contentious Azerbaijani region
Parliament members Eva Kjer Hansen (Venstre) and Marie Krarup (Dansk Folkeparti) have angered the foreign ministry of Azerbaijan by visiting Nagorno-Karabakh, a part of the southern Caucasus region with a contentious political status. Although Nagorno-Karabakh – with its majority of Christian Armenian residents – is regarded by ??many as an Armenian enclave, the Azerbaijani government considers it a republic belonging to Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry contends that the Danish MPs and other officials visited the region without first obtaining the appropriate permissions and then participated in a meeting with representatives from the region, including the area's foreign minister and Armenia's ambassador to Denmark, Hrachya Aghajanyan.
Elman Abdullayev, a Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said that the incident will be investigated and a decision on any action will be reached following the investigation.
Nagorno-Karabakh has been troubled by much unrest and war over the past 20 years. The last census of the region was taken by the Soviets in 1989. At that time, Armenians made up 77 percent of the then population of 188,000, while 21 percent were Muslim Azeris.
Hansen and Krarup have yet to comment on the trip. They attended Tuesday’s football match between Denmark and Armenia in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital city.
Krarup is no stranger to angering locals on an international excursion. Her unflattering comments about a Maori ceremony that greeted her arrival in New Zealand created an uproar on the island country.