Bryza: “Referendum” in Nagorno-Karabakh to complicate peace talks

22:12   17 February 2017    1102

The “referendum” in Azerbaijan’s occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region will only complicate the peace talks on settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, Matthew Bryza, former US ambassador to Azerbaijan, told Trend Feb. 17.

He was commenting on the “referendum” to be held Feb. 20 in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region, occupied by Armenia, to amend the illegal regime’s “constitution”.

Bryza, who is also former US deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, said that Armenia’s intention to hold the “referendum” contains neither logic nor motivation for an early resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Earlier, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said the illegal “referendum” constitutes a clear violation of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the norms and principles of international law, and, therefore, has no legal effect whatsoever.

The ministry reiterated that the illegal regime established by Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is ultimately nothing other than the product of aggression and occupation.

“This provocative step, as well as Armenia’s attempts to change the name of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, the integral part of Azerbaijan, is yet another clear manifestation that Armenia is not genuinely interested in seeking a political settlement of the armed conflict,” added the ministry.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

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