Results of Nagorno-Karabakh’s Sunday elections will have no legal validity, spokesman of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry told The Anadolu Agency Sunday.
The Nagorno-Karabokh territory, which is legally part of Azerbaijan but has been occupied by Armenia for over 20 years, is holding parliamentary elections that have garnered little to no support internationally.
“The so-called elections violate the Constitution of Azerbaijan, as well as principles of international law. Therefore, the elections will have no legal validity,” said Hikmet Hajiyev, spokesman of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry on the day parliamentary elections are being held in the Nagorno-Karabakh territory.
Hajiyev stated that Armenia was ignoring the calls of peace made by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group.
“This provocation aims to harm the negotiation process and to mask the occupation and attacks on Azerbaijan,” he said.
The invasion of the Azerbaijan territory of Nagorno-Karabakh by Armenia started in 1988 with minor conflicts, but evolved into a full scale war in 1992.
In a referendum in 1991, Nagorno-Karabakh was declared a republic with a presidential democracy and a parliament. However, it was not recognized by any of the UN member states.
Since the end of the war in 1994, Armenian and Azeri delegations have held talks over the status of Nagorno-Karabakh under the supervision of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Minsk Group.
Hajiyev emphasized that Armenia would fail to annex the Azerbaijani territories it currently occupies.
For a permanent solution to be established, Armenian armed forces had to unconditionally leave Nagorno-Karabakh and other Azeri provinces, he added.
Hajiyev also commented on the U.S. State Department’s statement Friday saying the U.S. would not recognize the May 3 elections. He deplored the use of the phrase “people of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
“The expression ‘people of Nagorno-Karabakh’ is unacceptable,” Hajiyev said.
“There is a community of Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is made up of Armenian and Azerbaijani communities and this should be clearly defined,” he said.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned the elections Thursday, as they would “violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.” The ministry added that it would continue supporting diplomatic talks over the status of the region.
Armenia is part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which is a military alliance of six ex-Soviet nations, including Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Russia.