Astronaut Visit Results in Blacklisting by Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan joins its "black list" of U.S. astronauts (translated via Google), Armenia Today

"Azerbaijan joins its "black list" of U.S. astronauts. Azerbaijani authorities intend to declare persona non grata two foreign nationals who recently visited the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. This is an astronaut Charles Duke and Claude Nicollier. Duke and Nicole were part of a scientific conference "Man and Space", which was held in Stepanakert. The conference was dedicated to the memory of the recently deceased U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong. ... The Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan now claim that for "illegal, inconsistent with Azerbaijan" visit Karabakh astronauts will be included in the list of persona non grata."

Keith's note: The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is not officially recognized by Azerbaijan (or anyone else) and is aligned with Armenia. Since Duke and Nicollier "joined" a list, I guess that list already existed. What other astronauts have insulted the Republic of Azerbaijan? Its not all together clear if being on the "black list" is an honor or an insult. I guess we need to ask Borat.

Full translation below

"Azerbaijan joins its "black list" of U.S. astronauts. Azerbaijani authorities intend to declare persona non grata two foreign nationals who recently visited the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. This is an astronaut Charles Duke and Claude Nicollier.

Duke and Nicole were part of a scientific conference "Man and Space", which was held in Stepanakert. The conference was dedicated to the memory of the recently deceased U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong.

Speaking at the event, President Bako Sahakyan thanked foreign guests for their visit, noting that the conference will contribute to the development of science in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan now claim that for "illegal, inconsistent with Azerbaijan" visit Karabakh astronauts will be included in the list of persona non grata.

American Charles Duke was part of the Apollo 16 expedition. He became the youngest astronaut walked on the moon. Swiss Claude Nicollier made four space flights (from 1992 to 1999). Their total length is more than 40 days."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on September 19, 2012 6:59 PM.

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