The Azerbaijan government has condemned the election of a new president in the political entity within the Armenian controlled part of Nagorno-Karabakh.
In a message on the social media channel X (formerly twitter) Hikmet Haciyev, head of the foreign policy department in the Azerbaijan presidential administration said: "Fictitious and fabricated elections or, better said, selection is a serious regression and a counterproductive step. The illegal puppet regime must be dissolved and disarmed. This is the only way to ensure lasting peace in which Armenians and Azerbaijanis living in Karabakh can live and coexist”, the message says.
Although using different language, many countries and international organisations have also distanced themselves from the elections, taking the opportunity to re-iterate their support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
The spokesperson of the European Union, Nabila Masarli said in a statement posted on the website of the European External Action Service,
"In view of the so-called 'presidential elections' in Khankendi/Stepanakert on 9 September 2023, the European Union reiterates that it does not recognise the constitutional and legal framework within which they have been held. At the same time, the EU believes that it is important for the Karabakh Armenians to consolidate around de facto leadership that is able and willing to engage in result-oriented discussions with Baku. The EU is committed to supporting this process."
commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that despite the public statements condemning the election of Samvel Shahramanian as the new leader of the Karabakh Armenians, both in Baku and the international community, the fact that their is now someone in Stepanakert with who they can discuss is a welcome development. Outgoing Karabakh de facto president Artyik Haratyunyan had been a lame duck for some time, and could not muster the support of key constituencies amongst the Karabakh Armenians. The big - some would say only - decision that Shahramanian has to make in the immediate future is whether or not to talk to Baku and under what circumstances. In his inaugural speech he hinted that direct talks are inevitable, though he was ambiguous in terms of how these talks can be organised.