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Azerbaijan summons Iran ambassador over violation of airspace

Azerbaijan on Saturday summoned Iran’s ambassador to Baku over an alleged violation of its airspace by an Iranian military aircraft.

“We strongly condemn the Iranian side for such a provocative step, urge them to provide an appropriate explanation, and refrain from such confrontational steps in the future,” said Azerbaijan’s Foreign and Defense Ministries in a joint statement.

Ambassador Seyyed Abbas Mousavi was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and handed a note of protest, it added.

According to the statement, an Iranian military aircraft on Saturday “made a non-stop flight along the Azerbaijan-Iran state border from the direction of Zangilan district to Bilasuvar district and backwards.”

“The plane flew between the two countries at a distance of 3-5 km from the state border, and in some cases over the state border,” it added.

“Contrary to the internationally accepted practice of warning the neighboring country in advance about approaching military aircraft to the state border, such a close proximity of a military aircraft of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the state border between the two countries and flying over the border line threatens the safety of civil aviation, and further deteriorates the bilateral relations,” the statement added.

“The flight of a military aircraft for more than half an hour near the liberated territories of Azerbaijan is a provocation and unfriendly behavior towards Azerbaijan. We would like to remind that last year the Iranian side also conducted large-scale military exercises along the Araz River near the borders of Azerbaijan,” it added.

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