Azerbaijani Ministry of Culture and Tourism has commented on the reports released by Armenian media outlets about candidature of Artsakh Tourism Development Organization NGO for Affiliate Membership of the World Tourism Organization.
Head of International Cooperation Department at the Ministry Vasif Eyvazzade told APA that Armenia continues its aggressive policy against Azerbaijan in all fields and this issue is a part of this policy: “This issue lasted from the 104th session of WTO Executive Council held in November 2016 in Luxor, Egypt to the 105th meeting held on May 10-12, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. Once the information was received, a letter of protest was sent to the leadership of WTO on behalf of the Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfas Garayev. The letter was covering detailed analysis about wrong information by Armenian company to the questions of WTO in the application form and occupation of 20% of our lands. It was demanded Armenia’s appeal to be rejected. Any company, NGO, Public Organizations may appeal for candidature for Affiliate Membership after getting formal letter of support from the authorized state bodies of the country where they are registered. Armenian side submitted information that as if this company has been registered in Armenia and engages in tourism in Armenia”.
He added that the research about the company revealed that it illegally operates in the occupied territories: “”Everyone understands that Armenia tries to change the name of our land Karabakh in the international lexicon. In the 105th meeting of the WTO Executive Council, the information submitted by Azerbaijan was proven and relevant report was confirmed by the Council. Taking into consideration UN General Assembly resolutions 60/285 (2006) and 62/243 (2008) decision 22(C) of the Executive Council (2015)) the Committee recommended to the Executive Council not to consider application of Artsakh Tourism Development Organization NGO and to report accordingly to the General Assembly. Consequently, this applicant was not included in the list of provisionally admitted candidates to Affiliate Membership for ratification by the General Assembly”.
He noted that Armenian side saw the false information about company and information reflecting occupation of Azerbaijani lands and withdrew candidacy of the company and asked this issue not to be included in the report: "Chairing the meeting minister Abulfas Garayev said that this is unacceptable. This process should continue as always. And Armenian side should explain why it withdraws the candidacy. No member of Council supported Armenia's proposal and the report was confirmed with the decision according to the interests of our country".