“Referendum” In Occupied Azerbaijan Lands – Another Provocation Of Yerevan
The planned “referendum” in Nagorno-Karabakh, an Azerbaijani region occupied by Armenia, is another provocation of Yerevan, Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister Ali Ahmadov told reporters in Baku Feb. 16, APA reported.
He noted that the whole international community, including international organizations recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh an integral part of Azerbaijan.
“The fact that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict still remains unresolved does not mean that the world community’s approach has changed. All international organizations share this opinion,” Ahmadov said.
According to him, the government and people of Azerbaijan have repeatedly demonstrated their position regarding Nagorno-Karabakh.
“As mentioned by the country’s president, Azerbaijan will never allow the creation of a second Armenian state on its territory. No inch of land can be separated from Azerbaijan,” said the deputy PM, stressing. “The independence of Nagorno-Karabakh has not been, is not and will not be a subject of discussion.”
As for Yerevan’s plan to hold a “referendum” in Nagorno-Karabakh, Ahmadov said that it has nothing to do with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“If they [Armenians] want to hold a “referendum” to please themselves, then let them hold it. Of course, the government and people of Azerbaijan, international organizations, especially those engaged in the conflict’s settlement won’t recognize the “referendum” or its results,” he added.
Ahmadov stressed that the “referendum” can be undermine the efforts taken to resolve the conflict.
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry earlier stated that the illegal “referendum on constitutional changes” planned to be held in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is a clear violation of the country’s constitution, as well as the norms and principles of international law and, therefore, has no legal effect.
This provocative step, as well as Armenia’s attempts to change the name of Nagorno-Karabakh region, an integral part of Azerbaijan, is yet another clear manifestation of the fact that Armenia is not interested in seeking a political settlement of the armed conflict, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Feb. 14.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.
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