By Sara Rajabova
The United Kingdom stated that it does not recognize the self-proclaimed “Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.”
The British embassy in Azerbaijan said the UK government has no contact with any of its representatives.
The UK Embassy made an announcement on its official page in Facebook on July 1, commenting on the possible visit of head of the separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh, Bako Sahakyan, to the UK.
“Sahakyan is travelling to the UK independently and the UK government has no role in his visit,” the embassy said.
It also added that Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs, an independent policy institute based in London) is an independent institution and makes it own decisions about whom to invite to its events.
“The UK Government has no influence over these decisions, nor should it, given our respect for the freedom of action of non-governmental organizations,” the UK Embassy said.
Chatham House will hold the discussions on the situation concerning Nagorno-Karabakh, regional security, and relations between different regional actors in London on July 8, local media reported.
The think-thank also invited Sahakyan as a speaker, whom Chatham House will present as "the president of the de facto Nagorno-Karabakh Republic."
The UK did not recognize the legitimacy of the presidential and parliamentary elections held in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh a while ago and voiced support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
For over two decades, Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in a conflict that emerged over Armenia's territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions.
A fragile ceasefire has been in place since 1994, but long-standing efforts by U.S., Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.
Armenia has not yet implemented any of the four U.N. Security Council resolutions urging a pullout from its neighboring country's territories.