Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 18 /Trend, M.Aliyev/
A referendum on secession of south of Sudan can not serve as a precedent for Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Social and Political Department head Ali Hasanov told Trend.
"This is a decision made by the people of Sudan, but Nagorno-Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan. The main population of Nagorno-Karabakh has been expelled, only the Armenian population has remained there. For this reason, the fate of Nagorno-Karabakh can not be determined by a referendum," Hasanov said.
Some political circles in Armenia believe that the referendum in Sudan could become a precedent for Nagorno-Karabakh problem settlement.
According to Hasanov, the issue can be presented to a referendum only if the entire population of Nagorno-Karabakh returns to their homelands. Only then, the opinion of majority of population will be considered and the fate of these territories will be determined.
"Within international law, Azerbaijan makes the most correct steps to resolve this conflict," Hasanov said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994, with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, comprising Russia, France, and the U.S., currently engaged in the peace negotiations.
Armenia has still not implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.