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Baku Protests Against Separatist Leader's London Visit

Azerbaijan has protested plans by the leader of the breakaway ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh to visit London next week.

The Foreign Ministry said on July 2 it had sent a “note of protest” to Britain's Foreign Office over Bako Sahakian's scheduled visit.

The previous day, the Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador to Baku, Irfan Siddiq.

It quoted Deputy Foreign Minister, Khalaf Khalafov, as telling Siddiq that the visit is "a step directed against the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan."

Siddiq told journalists that Britain “does not recognize” the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh republic and that the British government has “no contact with any of its representatives."

Sahakian is due to visit the think tank Chatham House on July 8 to brief an audience on "the domestic political situation and share his views on regional security and relations," the organization said.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax

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