OSCE DISMISSES SEPARATIST KARABAKH VOTE
Agence France Presse — English
July 20, 2007 Friday 9:01 PM GMT
European security body OSCE on Friday dismissed elections in
Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorny Karabakh and said they would
have little impact on efforts to end the conflict there.
"The OSCE does not recognize the independence of Nagorno Karabakh
and therefore these elections should not have any impact or any
significance on the solution of the conflict," Spanish Foreign Minister
Miguel Angel Moratinos said in a statement.
Spain currently holds the rotating presidency of the 55-member
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
More than 77 percent of Karabakh’s 92,000 registered voters took part
in Thursday’s polls, which were won by a former head of security
for the territory, Bako Sahakian, election commission officials
Armenian-populated Karabakh seceded from Azerbaijan in the 1990s and
proclaimed independence from mostly Muslim Azerbaijan, although this
has not been recognized by the rest of the world.
The war was one of the bloodiest of the many conflicts that followed
the collapse of the Soviet Union, claiming 30,000 lives and forcing
nearly one million people on both sides to flee their homes.
Armenia and Azerbaijan remain officially at war over Karabakh and
the dispute is a major source of instability in the strategic South
Caucasus region wedged between Iran, Russia and Turkey.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress