European Union Ready to Assist Karabakh NegotiationsMay 29th, 2010 | Category: Politics
YEREVAN (Novosti Armenia), May 29–The European Union is ready to continue assisting the OSCE Minsk Group negotiations on the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict, José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, said.
“I will not go into constitutional and legal details. We continue promoting the peaceful negotiation process in Minsk Group and I think that the conflict settlement must touch upon all the principal components–the right to return for the migrated, right of property, right to self-determination, security and withdrawal of forces,” Barroso said.
According to the preliminary data of the Central Election Commission, 67.8 percent of the electorate took part in the latest Nagorno-Karabagh parliamentary elections.
In his turn the Armenian President Serge Sarkisian announced that the Karabagh people have been carrying out elections for a decade. “Naturally, during these years various institutions, and EU among them, announce that they do not recognize the elections, which is surely strange for us, but we are trying to understand the motives,” he said.
Th president mentioned that it is necessary to take into consideration the opinion of the Armenian party. “We are sure that there are no alternatives to the elections. The alternative is that field commanders or foreign forces rule over Nagorno-Karabakh. We are against it. We consider it quite normal that the Nagorno-Karabakh people can hold equal and democratic elections,” Sarkisian said.
Observers from Russia and Armenia found the Karabakh elections to be legitimate, free, democratic, equal, completely corresponding to the Nagorno-Karabakh electoral code and to all international standards.
The beginning of the Karabakh conflict was marked in 1988, when the people of Nagorno-Karabakh began demonstrating for its secession from Azerbaijan. On December 10, 1991 a referendum was held in Nagorno-Karabakh, where 99.89 percent gave their votes for the complete independence from Azerbaijan.
The large-scale operations that followed the referendum resulted in the loss of Azerbaijani control over Nagorno-Karabakh and the adjacent seven regions.
Since May 12, 1994, after the cease-fire agreement came into force, military operations have been ceased. As a result of the war, about 25,000 people died and an estimated one million people were obliged to leave their houses.
Negotiations for the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict have been officiated by the OSCE Minsk Group, co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France, since 1992.
Translated from Russian by Yerevan Report