Chairman of PACE Assures CE will Not Recognize Illegal Presidential Elections in Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr K. Ramazanova / The Council of Europe (CE) will not recognize illegal presidential elections in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan scheduled for 19 July. "I said several days ago that we would not recognize the elections as legitimate," the Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Rene van der Linden, said to journalists in Baku on 9 July.
The conflict between two South Caucasus countries broke out in 1988 in view of Armenia's territorial claims on Azerbaijan. Some 20% of Azerbaijani territory (Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 nearby regions) have been occupied by Armenian Armed Forces since 1992. In May, 1994 a ceasefire agreement was signed between the sides. This is not the first elections to be held by a separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh. The elections were not recognized by any international organization.
Linden stated that the forthcoming elections in Karabakh would not be recognized by the international community. The Azerbaijani Foreign Minster condemned the forthcoming elections last Friday and stated that "Holding of such elections roughly violates the basic regulations of the Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic, the principles and standards of the international law, and consequently cannot have any legal results."
Rene van der Linden has been visiting Baku since 7 July. After the meeting held at the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry on 9 July Linden reported to journalists that they had discussed foreign political issues, Azerbaijan's obligations to the CE as well as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.