Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend K.Ramazanova / Romania does not recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh nor the legitimacy of so-called "presidential elections" held on 19 July in that region, the Foreign Ministry (MAE) said in a press.
The "presidential elections" should have no influence on the peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the MAE said, stressing that the refugees should be allowed to get back to their homes in safety and dignity in order to be able to attend the elections.MAE reaffirms its firm support for the Minsk Group and its co-chairs to be able to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and encourages the sides to do more and find a negotiated solution.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries appeared in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani lands including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. Since 1992 to the present time, these territories have been under Armenian occupation. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a cease-fire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Russia, France and USA) are holding peaceful negotiations.