By Rashid Shirinov
No country in the world recognized the illegal regime established in Armenia-occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijani Parliament’s First Deputy Speaker Ziyafat Asgarov told Trend on February 17.
“It is not a state but an illegal regime. Therefore, neither elections held there so far, nor the forthcoming “referendum” have legal force,” Asgarov said.
The so-called “constitutional referendum” is scheduled for February 20 in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, which is now ruled by a puppet regime controlled by Armenia.
Asgarov added that the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group also made statements on the case, where they noted they do not recognize the so-called “referendum” in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Such a “referendum” will have no legal value or result. They [Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh] are just trying to assert themselves by such a step. However, they forget that the countries of the world do not recognize them,” Asgarov said.
He added that Nagorno-Karabakh is an Azerbaijani territory and all legal procedures may be held there only with the permission of Azerbaijan.
Previously, Deputy Chairman of the Azerbaijani Parliament Bahar Muradova assesed the illegal “referendum” as an attempt of Yerevan to preserve the status quo in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
She said that such a provocative step, as well as Armenia's attempts to change the name of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is an inseparable part of Azerbaijan, testifies to the lack of interest of Armenia in resolving the conflict, and serves for escalation of tensions in the region.
“All international organizations recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, and announce their official position of recognizing the inviolability of borders and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,” Muradova noted.
She added that the so-called “referendum” is an open violation of the Constitution of Azerbaijan, as well as international legal norms and principles, and therefore it cannot have any legal force.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
Armenia still controls fifth part of Azerbaijan's territory and rejects implementing four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz