TODAY.AZ / Politics

Booking.com again starts hotel booking in Azerbaijan's occupied lands

17 November 2017 [16:26] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews


By Rashid Shirinov

Booking.com, the Netherlands-based travel fare aggregator website, has resumed illegal hotel reservations in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend on November 17.

He noted that previously, after a serious protest from Azerbaijan’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Culture and Tourism, the website ceased making illegal hotel reservations in the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenian armed forces.

“However, as a result of an investigation, it was revealed that Booking.com has renewed the illegal hotel reservations in Azerbaijan’s occupied lands. Promotion of Azerbaijan’s occupied lands as a tourism destination by Booking.com and making hotel reservations there absolutely contradicts the principles of international law, the Charter of the World Tourism Organization, the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, as well as relevant decisions and recommendations of the World Tourism Organization’s Executive Board,” said Hajiyev.

The spokesman stressed that promotion of the occupied territories, where more than a million Azerbaijanis were subject to bloody ethnic cleansing, as a tourism destination and making hotel reservations there is inconsistent with any moral framework.

"Azerbaijan’s occupied territories are closed for legal international money transfers, whereas hotels are booked in Azerbaijan’s occupied lands via online payments on Booking.com, which takes profit from this," said Hajiyev, adding this is considered as illegal international money transfer and money laundering.

He pointed out that with such activities detrimental to the corporate business ethics, Booking.com creates an unserious impression about itself and undermines its reputation.

The spokesman added that  Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Culture and Tourism carry out coordinated relevant measures in connection with the issue, and Azerbaijan’s Embassy in the Netherlands has also received instructions.

Azerbaijan takes necessary measures against those, who are engaged in illegal business or economic activity in the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia. Moreover, unauthorized visits to Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied regions of Azerbaijan are considered illegal and individuals who pay such visits are included in the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s “black list”.

Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan by laying territorial claims on the country. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.

To this day, Armenia has not implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.

URL: http://www.today.az/news/politics/166920.html

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