By Akbar Mammadov
NATO has dismissed as illegal elections held in Azerbaijan's occupied Nagono-Karabakh region.
"With regard to the “general elections” that took place today in Nagorno-Karabakh, NATO does not accept the results of these “elections” as affecting the legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh and stress that the results 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. NATO supports the OSCE Minsk Group, including the recent statement of the Co-Chairs on this issue," NATO's Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai wrote on his Facebook page on March 31.
It should be noted that James Appathurai also made a statement on so-called "elections" in Nagorno-Karabakh on March 23: "NATO does not recognise the so-called elections which took place yesterday in the Georgian region of Abkhazia. The Alliance continues to support Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognised borders".
Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, which along with seven adjacent regions was occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and around one million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France has been mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict since the signing of the volatile cease-fire agreement in 1994. The Minsk Group’s efforts have resulted in no progress and to this date, Armenia has failed to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) that demand the withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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