Azerbaijan has issued international arrest warrants for three MEPs, including Cypriot Eleni Theocharous, over their visit to breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh during a referendum on February 20.
According to reports, the Azerbaijani general prosecutor’s office included Theocharous, Frank Engel (Luxemburg), and Jaromír Štětina (Czech Republic), on the most wanted list.
Theocharous’ party, the Solidarity Movement, said she considered the fact that Azerbaijan was annoyed a badge of honour.
“She has been on Azerbaijan’s black list for many years,” a party spokesman said. “Azerbaijan’s actions did not stop her activity in favour of the people of Karabakh, nor will they stop her in the future.”
The region’s election commission said almost 88 per cent of voters supported changing its form of governance from semi presidential to fully presidential.
Other amendments included the change of the region’s name from the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to the Republic of Artsakh, but the two names will be treated as synonymous.
Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region in Azerbaijan with about 150,000 residents in an area of 12,000 square kms, has been under the control of local ethnic Armenian forces and the Armenian military since 1994.
The conflict is fuelled by long-simmering tensions between Armenians and Azeris and has been an economic blow to Armenia.