Azerbaijan, EU warn Nagorno-Karabakh votes illegal

The "parliamentary" elections in the occupied Caucasus enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday are illegal, Azerbaijan and the European Union's foreign-policy director warned.

Azerbaijan, EU warn Nagorno-Karabakh votes illegal

The "parliamentary" elections in the occupied Caucasus enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday are illegal, Azerbaijan and the European Union's foreign-policy director warned.

Azeri land has been under Armenian occupation in early 1990s in which nearly 30,000 people died and 2 million were forced to flee their homes.
Shootings between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the region remain common despite a 1994 cease fire.

Fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the area ended in 1994 when a ceasefire was signed. The two sides are still technically at war because no peace treaty has been signed.

Azerbaijan condemned upcoming election "illegal."

"The new election farce in the occupied territories is contrary to Azerbaijan's constitution and the norms of international law," Azerbaijan's Central Election Commission (CEC) said in a statement.

"It demonstrates Armenia's occupation policy and its wish to prevent settlement of the Karabakh conflict."

Azerbaijan's foreign ministry and the CEC urged observers to abstain from monitoring upcoming poll.

"Nagorno-Karabakh is Azeri territory and any, who will visit it without a permission from the Azeri side will be declare persona non grata and won't be able to visit Azerbaijan," Elkhan Polukhov, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, told Reuters.

"I would like to recall that the EU does not recognise the constitutional and legal framework within which the parliamentary elections in Nagorno Karabakh will be held this Sunday," Catherine Ashton said in a statement on Friday.

"This event should not prejudice the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict ... I call on the parties to redouble their efforts to find a negotiated solution to the conflict," she said.

"Vote"

Four parties and 40 candidates from single-mandate constituencies are competing for 33 seats in the legislature elected for five years.

Parties, which include pro-government Free Motherland, Democratic Party of Artsakh and Dashnaktsutsiun as well as opposition, but not popular Communist Party, will need to clear a six-percent threshold to get into the parliament.

The election, to be held from 0800 to 2000 local time (3 a.m. to 1500 GMT), has to be attended by at least 25 percent of the enclave's electorate of around 90,000 to be valid.

The occupied region has seen a spike in tensions since Armenia and Turkey announced their rapprochement last year.

Turkey and Armenia had no diplomatic ties or economic relations since Turkey closed its border with Armenia after this country invaded the Upper-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan in 1992, until recently when the two countries agreed about a month ago on a protocol to establish relations after months-long Swiss mediated talks.

But the accord crumbled last month, when Armenia suspended its ratification following Turkish demands that it first reach terms over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Agencies

Last Mod: 23 Mayıs 2010, 16:47
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Tughluq
Tughluq - 11 yıl Before

We still believe Sulaiman Demiral then prime minister of Turkey deliberately betrayed Azerbaijan. Turkey had a good chance of interfering because Armenian Army was aiding and participating Karabakh infiltrators openly. Demiral is an example inefficiency. Can this happen now?