TODAY.AZ / Politics

Azerbaijan poises to look into its citizens fighting in Syria

06 February 2014 [17:30] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

The Azerbaijani government will take legal steps If the participation of Azerbaijanis in the Syrian fighting is confirmed.

"If it is proven that they were fighting there as mercenaries or under other conditions, legal measures will be necessarily taken against them," Spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Elman Abdullayev said at the meeting with young people at the Winter University for Young Leaders organised by the Ireli Public Union on February 6.

"It will be investigated as to why they went there, what kind of activities they are involved in and what role they are playing," he added.

Azerbaijan suspended the activities of its diplomatic mission in Syria two years ago and transferred it from Damascus to the Lebanese capital Beirut, Abdullayev noted.

"All Azerbaijani citizens were evacuated from Syria when the diplomatic mission closed. Therefore, today it is being seriously investigated as how Azerbaijani citizens got to Syria and who persuaded them to go there," he added.

Abdullayev said if the current situation in Syria was not so tense and if the country had not become an arena of combat operations, it would be much easier to find this information out. "However now there are no diplomatic missions from many countries, as well as international organisations in Syria. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan is investigating this issue through various channels," he noted.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry is considering the issue relating to the country's citizens engaged in the armed conflict in Syria, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told journalists earlier.

"As is known, after the aggravation of the situation in Syria, the Azerbaijani embassy moved to Lebanon. It is difficult for us to control the actions of fellow citizens in Syria. We are closely monitoring the situation and certainly do not want Azerbaijani citizens to be killed in the conflict," the minister said.

Several Azerbaijanis recently were killed in an armed conflict in Syria, according to media reports.

The initiating of criminal proceedings against the citizens of the country, fighting in Syria was recently offered at the Parliament of Azerbaijan.

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