By Akbar Mammadov
Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Marketa Gregorova has said that the so-called elections held in Azerbaijan’s occupied Nagorno-Karabkh region are against the international law and undermine the peace negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
"The situation in the region is unstable. In general, I support independent local decisions and referenda that are held in compliance with legal norms. But in this case, the conditions are undemocratic and can cause even greater damage to the negotiations and long-term plans for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict", Gregorova told local media.
The MEP also hailed the European Union’s statement that it doesn’t recognize the so-called elections held in Nagorno-Karabakh on March 31 and April 14.
Furthermore, a candidate for the European Parliament Katarzyna Ueberhan has said that the European Parliament cannot consider or recognize these so-called "elections" as legal.
"As the international community, we must do everything possible to stimulate a peaceful settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Each person, and most of all residents of this region, is suffering from a protracted conflict," she added.
Earlier, European Union’s diplomatic service European External Action Service (EEAS) Spokespersons for Foreign Affairs and Security Police Peter Stano and Adam Kaznowski issued a statement saying that the organization does not recognize the legality of these “elections”, adding that the so-called elections “cannot prejudice the determination of the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh or the outcome of the ongoing negotiation process.”
In addition, Directorate of Communications of the Council of Europe reiterated CoE’s support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, saying that “any elections held in contradiction or outside of the constitutional order of a member state have no legal effects and should not be recognized/considered as such. The same holds concerning the recent so-called elections held in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
The so-called elections have also been condemned by NATO, OIC, GUAM, the OSCE Minsk Group that mediates the conflict as well as a number of countries, including the UK, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Georgia, Ukraine, Estonia, etc.
Nagorno-Karabakh is Azerbaijan's 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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