Karabakh polls a 'violation of the UN Charter': FO

Elections in the region are "legally and morally reprehensible", says Foreign Office

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In this file photo taken on December 27, 2022 Azerbaijani servicemen march at a checkpoint at the Lachin corridor, the Armenian-populated breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region´s only land link with Armenia, January 20, 2023. — AFP
In this file photo taken on December 27, 2022 Azerbaijani servicemen march at a checkpoint at the Lachin corridor, the Armenian-populated breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region´s only land link with Armenia, January 20, 2023. — AFP 

Pakistan on Sunday categorically condemned the polls conducted in the Nagorno-Karabakh region terming them as a violation of the United Nations (UN) Charter and the established principles of international law, a statement issued by the Foreign Office (FO) said.

The FO also accentuated that Pakistan considers Karabakh as the sovereign territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan and that attempts to hold elections by the illegally installed regime are "legally and morally reprehensible".

It is pertinent to know that on Saturday, Azerbaijan´s separatist Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh elected a new president as tensions spiralled between arch-rivals Azerbaijan and Armenia over the breakaway enclave.

With 22 votes to one, lawmakers in Nagorno-Karabakh´s parliament elected the head of the security council in the rebel government, Samvel Shahramanyan, 45, to succeed the outgoing leader Arayik Harutyunyan who stepped down on September 1, according to the AFP.

Reacting to the development, the FO said: “Such an attempt is also a grave violation of the UN Charter and principles of established international law.”

Azerbaijan also called the election "yet another extremely provocative step" and "a clear violation of Azerbaijan´s sovereignty and territorial integrity."

The European Union said it "does not recognise the constitutional and legal framework" within which the vote was held.

But the bloc also called on "Karabakh Armenians to consolidate around de facto leadership that is able and willing to engage in result-oriented discussions with Baku."

Azerbaijan´s ally Turkey said it "does not recognise this illegitimate election which constitutes violation of Azerbaijan´s sovereignty and territorial integrity."

"This step is a flagrant violation of international law including the UN Security Council resolutions and the OSCE principles," the foreign ministry in Ankara said in a statement.

Popular frustration with Harutyunyan´s rule was growing amid lingering food shortages after Azerbaijan closed the sole road linking Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have traded accusations of cross-border attacks in recent months.

Armenia warned of the risk of a fresh conflict, saying Azerbaijan was massing troops on the countries´ shared border and near Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan´s foreign ministry on Friday accused Armenia of violating "previous agreements and... resorting to various political, military and other provocations."

Yerevan said it was "committed to the settlement of all outstanding issues with Azerbaijan purely through political and diplomatic means."

Azerbaijan´s Armenian-populated enclave was at the centre of two wars between the Caucasus neighbours.

Six weeks of fighting in autumn 2020 ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire that saw Armenia cede swathes of territories it had controlled for decades.

The two sides have been unable to reach a lasting peace settlement despite mediation efforts by the European Union, the United States and Russia.


With input from AFP.