Baku, Azerbaijan, May 2
The United States does not recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent sovereign state, and accordingly, will not accept the results of the so called "elections" on May 3rd as affecting the legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh, according to Acting Deputy Spokesperson Jeff Rathke's Daily Press Briefing May 1 in Washington, DC, U.S. Department of State reported.
"The United States does not recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent sovereign state, and accordingly, we will not accept the results of the "elections" on May 3rd as affecting the legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh. In the context of a comprehensive settlement of the conflict, we recognize that the people of Nagorno-Karabakh will play a role in deciding their future. But - and we also stress that we in no way prejudge the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh or the outcome of the negotiations to bring a lasting and peaceful settlement to the conflict," Rathke said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.