“The holding of elections by one country in the occupied territory of another country is of course, not at all helpful to building the psychological mood that is necessary for two opposing countries to reconcile with each other. In the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, it is legally a part of Azerbaijan, as is recognized by every country in the world. It would be better if these so-called “elections” did not happen,” said Bryza.
Bryza pointed out that the statements he has seen from several governments have been the same, which say these so-called “elections” don’t mean anything, because they don’t recognize the so-called “independence” of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“But generally, as I said, these so-called “elections” are not helpful for creating a positive atmosphere surrounding the talks. Basic principles for the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that have been negotiated for a long time and in fact were agreed in principle in January 2019 do foresee that the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh would have the right to elect their own representatives, but that would happen once there was a framework agreement based on the basic principles reached for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he concluded.
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, 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 Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.