Azerbaijan, Baku, 25 April / corr. Trend S. Agayeva/ The Ombudsman of Azerbaijan considers the election of ombudsman of self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh to be illegal.
"This step undermines the peace process to settle the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, covers up Armenia's tracks of violating the rights of millions of Azerbaijanis and its citizens by holding the recent presidential elections in Armenia," said the statement by the Ombudsman.
Yuriy Ayrapetyan, the chairman of the standing commission of National Assembly of self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh on government and judicial issues was elected the Ombudsman (human rights activist). According to the correspondent of REGNUM news agency in Stapanakert, the Ombudsman was elected during the meeting of the National Assembly of Nagorno-Karabakh held on 25 April through a secret ballot. He was the only candidate for the post and this nomination was agreed upon by all factions. According to the NGR constitution, the human rights activist is an independent official who defends citizens whose rights and freedom were violated by state bodies, municipalities and officials.
The Azerbaijani Ombudsman believes that such a situation necessitates sanctions being imposed against Armenia by international organizations. "We state once again that only those organizations established in the Azerbaijani territory and based on the country's laws can be considered as legitimate," the statement by the Ombudsman said.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.
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