By Mushvig Mehdiyev
The separatist regime in Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region managed to hold its illegal "parliamentary elections" despite righteous calls from Baku to restraint from such move.
Backed politically and financially by Yerevan the puppet rulers in Karabakh arranged so-called "polls" on May 3, in defiance to both Azerbaijan's law and international law.
Since the first announcement about "elections" in Nagorno-Karabakh, Baku raised its obvious opposition to any move aimed at holding an illicit "election" in the historical and internationally recognized lands of Azerbaijan. Baku announced that the Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied regions are temporarily out of the control of Azerbaijan because of the occupation by Armenian armed forces. In this case, holding an "election" on another country's territory is a provocation and contradicts all legal norms.
Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry called officially on international organizations and political figures from around the world to avoid attending, monitoring or observing the fabricated "polls" held by the separatist Karabakh rulers. It even warned that those taking part in person at the "elections" in Nagorno-Karabakh would be held criminally liable.
The international community supports Azerbaijan's sovereignty and territorial integrity recognizing the Nagorno-Karabakh part of the country's territory. Before the elections were held, many countries including the U.S, Turkey, Italy, the UK, Iran, Palestine, Pakistan, Latvia, Switzerland, as well as the OIC and EU slammed the moves aimed at arranging an illegal "election" in the occupied Azerbaijani lands.
The U.S. Department of State has officially announced that Washington does not recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent and sovereign state, and accordingly, "it will not accept the results of the elections on May 3 as affecting the legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh".
The official stance of the OSCE Minsk Group - the brokering group in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict's settlement process - has also stood in opposition to the separatist rulers' illegal moves in view of the "election".
Shortly before "election" day, a statement issued by the Minsk Group co-chairs read that none of the co-chairing countries - the U.S., France and Russia - recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state and "accordingly, they do not accept the results of these “elections” as affecting the legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh". The statement also stressed that the co-chairing countries "in no way prejudge the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh or the outcome of the ongoing negotiations to bring a lasting and peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict".
Backed by the international community in its fair position, Baku believes that the so-called and illegal "parliamentary elections" will further create obstacles to the negotiation process.
Ending the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in peace is a top priority in Azerbaijan's agenda. All efforts exerted towards the peace talks prove Baku's aspirations to solve the territorial dispute aside from armed intervention and based on international law. Azerbaijan's territorial integrity should come as the key factor in any effort attempting to solve the problem. International calls and resolutions calling for Armenia's withdrawal from the occupied lands should be obeyed unconditionally also for the sake of regional stability and peace, believes Baku.
However, despite Baku's best efforts at peace in the occupied lands remains a mirage in the distance as Armenia refuses to comply with international law. Azerbaijan proposed a Great Peace Agreement project to work jointly on the conflict's settlement. But Yerevan refused of course to seize such peace opportunity, preferring instead to support the occupation.
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