No country or international organization has sent a mission to observe the illegal “referendum” in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region, occupied by Armenia, Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, told APA on Feb. 20.
The so-called "referendum" is being held Feb. 20 in the Azerbaijani territories, occupied by Armenia, to amend the illegal regime’s “constitution.”
Armenia, in contravention of Azerbaijan’s laws and the principles of international law, as well as the positions of the international community and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries, is holding the so-called “referendum” in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan for the purpose of political provocation, said Hajiyev.
He noted that this “referendum”, which the international community considers illegal and the results of which can not be recognized, is nothing more than an attempt to deceive itself and the international community and harm the negotiation process.
According to him, Armenia’s statements concerning the presence of some observers at the illegal "referendum" are thoughtless.
No country or international organization sent a mission to observe this illegal “referendum”, he stressed.
He said Armenia organized a private trip for a group of persons to the occupied Azerbaijani territories in order to justify its unsuccessful and illegal activities.
“This initiative can be called an illegal tourist trip,” said Hajiyev, adding. “The preliminary investigation has revealed that most of these persons are already included in the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s list of people declared persona non grata, they are representatives of the Armenian lobby or are influenced by Armenia. It’s not excluded that Armenia, by using the same method and by way of deception, has arranged their trip to the occupied territories.”
“The names of several other persons will be clarified and included in the list. It is possible that Armenia fraudulently lured them to the occupied territories,” he said.
Instead of such provocative and unnecessary activities, Armenia must put an end to its aggressive policy and make efforts to resolve the conflict and restore lasting peace in the region, Hajiyev added.
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.