Baku condemns the election of a new president in the Armenian controlled part of Karabakh

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." 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.


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Opinion: Azerbaijan needs to provide its vision on the future of Karabakh Armenians

"The current impasse on the movement on the Lachin corridor can lead to the complete evacuation of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh. Besides the legal, moral, and logistical impediments to implementing such an initiative, it will become a geopolitical disaster for the region. It will only deepen the mistrust and hatred between Armenians and Azerbaijanis and prepare a subsequent cycle of violence in the future, as Armenians will take all steps to avenge such a national humiliation", writes Benyamin Poghosyan, in this op-ed for KarabakhSpace. There are no optimal solutions that will satisfy all sides. The choice will be made between bad, worse, and the worst options. The only way out is to find a "middle way," which may include restoring the supply of goods to Nagorno Karabakh via the Lachin corridor and simultaneously using other routes. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan should finally present its vision of the future of Nagorno Karabakh Armenians, with a detailed description of their rights and mechanisms to protect them. The general statements about Armenians having the same rights as any other Azerbaijani citizen according to the Azerbaijani constitution are not sufficient. Otherwise, even if a short-term solution alleviates the humanitarian disaster in Nagorno Karabakh, the crisis will remain there,with no light at the end of the tunnel.