By Akbar Mammadov
Major international organizations and leading world countries have criticized the illegal elections held by the regime set up in Azerbaijan’s occupied Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region on March 31.
"In view of the so-called 'presidential and parliamentary elections' in Nagorno-Karabakh on 31 March 2020, the European Union reiterates that it does not recognize the constitutional and legal framework within which they are being held. This event cannot prejudice the determination of the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh or the outcome of the ongoing negotiation process," European Union’s diplomatic service European External Action Service (EEAS) Spokespersons for Foreign Affairs and Security Police Peter Stano and Adam Kaznowski said in a statement published on March 31.
"The EU recalls its firm support to the OSCE Minsk Group and, in particular, to its Co-Chairs’ efforts to bring about progress beyond the status quo and substantive negotiations towards comprehensive and sustainable peace. The EU stands ready to further support efforts, aimed at early, peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," the statement further reads.
“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'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.
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
"The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), view the holding of elections in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan on 31 March 2020 as contravention to the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” a statement published in the organization’s website reads.
"The OIC General Secretariat further referred to the resolutions and decisions of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe which supports a peaceful solution to the conflict on the basis of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the internationally recognized borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan," the statement reads.
The British Embassy in Azerbaijan issued a statement, saying that “The UK does not recognise the ‘elections’ which took place in Nagorno-Karabakh on 31 March."
“The UK reiterates its full support for the OSCE Minsk Group’s role in the peace process and encourages Azerbaijan and Armenia to accelerate efforts to build confidence and achieve a negotiated settlement”, the statement reads.
"We do not recognize the legal framework of the so called "presidential and parliamentary elections“ that took place yesterday in Nagorno-Karabakh. Both the "elections" and their results are considered illegal," Director of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia Michael Siebert wrote on his Twitter page.
"Turkey’s position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is absolutely clear and unambiguous", Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Erkan Ozoral told local media on April 1.
“Turkey will never recognize the so-called "elections" held in Nagorno Karabakh on March 31. The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have made a similar statement. Turkey supports the speedy settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and the restoration of justice, which is delayed for more than 30 years,” Ozoral said.
“We urge the conflict sides to resolve the conflict through negotiations. This conflict must be quickly resolved within territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized borders, in accordance with the norms and principles of international law," the ambassador added.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine strongly condemns the so-called 'presidential and parliamentary elections', held on March 31 in the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Republic of Azerbaijan," Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said in a statement published in its official website.
"The results of these pseudo-elections have no legal consequences whereas they are contrary to the rules and principles of international law", MFA of Ukraine stated.
"Ukraine once again expresses its support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan in its internationally recognized borders and stands for peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict".
Azerbaijan’s neighbor Georgian also voiced its support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.
"The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirms its support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and does not recognize the so called presidential and parliamentarian elections held on March 31, 2020 in N. Kharabkh".
"Georgia supports exclusively peaceful settlement of N. Karabakh conflict in line with the norms and principles of international law," the statement reads.
Italian Foreign Ministry tweeted on March 31 that "Italy does not recognize the so-called "presidential and parliamentary elections" in Nagorno-Karabakh."
"Estonia does not consider the so-called "elections" in Nagorno Karabakh as legitimate. We continue to support the mediation efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs," Estonian MFA stated on its Twitter page.
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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