U.S. Says It Will Not Accept Results of Upcoming Artsakh Elections

US State Department spokesman John Kirby speaks to reporters at a daily press briefing in Washington, D.C. on June 17 (Source: Cihan)

US State Department spokesman John Kirby speaks to reporters at a daily press briefing in Washington, D.C. on June 17 (Source: Cihan)

WASHINGTON—The U.S. State Department said on Thursday that though it recognizes the role of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh in determining their own future, it will not recognize the results of the “so-called” elections set to take place on September 13.

“The United States recognizes the importance of the role of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh in determining their own future,” U.S. Department of State spokesperson John Kirby said at a daily press briefing in Washington DC on Thursday.

“In the context of a comprehensive settlement of the conflict, we recognize the role of the population in Nagorno-Karabakh in deciding their future. However, the United States does not recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent sovereign state, and we will not accept the results of the so-called elections on the 13th of September as affecting the legal status of the region,” he continued.

Kirby made it clear that the elections cannot determine the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh. “We also stress that the so-called elections in no way prejudge the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh or the outcome of the ongoing negotiations to bring a lasting and peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”

The United States has criticized Armenia and Azerbaijan for the latest upsurge of fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, saying that they both have used heavier weapons to shell each other’s villages along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

“We have received credible reports that Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have used mortars and other heavy weapons along the international border, resulting in civilian casualties and damage to villages,” Kirby said in a statement released late on Thursday.

“We are deeply troubled by the escalation and condemn any military action that targets civilians,” he said. “We call for an immediate end to such violence, for the de-escalation of tensions, and, in the strongest possible terms, for the avoidance of civilian casualties.”

The statement referred to last week’s intensification of ceasefire violations that were mainly reported from the western section of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Villages on both sides of the frontier were directly hit in mostly overnight skirmishes between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops stationed in the area.

“We also remind the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan of their commitment to reach a negotiated settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict working closely with the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group,” Kirby also said.

The US Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassador James Warlick asked on social media whether there can be a person like Abraham Lincoln in Armenia and Azerbaijan who can bring peace and reconciliation to the region.

He left the following message on social media in regard to the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process:

“Abraham Lincoln brought us from war to reconciliation rising above politics and beginning a new chapter in our history. Is there a courageous Abraham Lincoln in Armenia or Azerbaijan who is prepared to bring peace and reconciliation? Are the people of the region ready to live side by side in peace, security, and prosperity?”


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  1. State-Of-Emergency said:

    Talking from both sides of their mouth. The fact is that they don’t know what to do since they have to balance the illusion of democracy blended with the pursuit of self interest.

  2. State-Of-Emergency said:

    Besides, Artsakh retaliating for shelling of it’s people and towns is hardly a cause for complaint. The finger should be pointed at Azerbaijan for initiating the conflicts. Artsakh’s answer to Azeri aggression is actually called “self defense”. You know, the everyday term used to describe Israel’s reaction each time a shell crosses their border.

  3. Reader said:

    The State Department needs to understand that the fastest way to resolve this conflict is to recognize Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) as an independent state. John Kirby, please visit this beautiful Armenian land to see for yourself and understand that Artsakh is and has always been Armenian for thousands of years. It is also one of the most democratic states anywhere. Why deny the people of Artsakh and the region the opportunity to live in peace when there is such an easy solution to this problem.

  4. Armen said:

    The US has never cared about democracy. Time to accept Russia, warts and all while simultaneously taking advantage of China’s fears of Pan-Turkism.

  5. Ali said:

    It’s a shame for an American official to condemn the people of Karabakh about their freedom for election and self government. America was founded on the principles of self determination and the right to form a people’s government. Mentioning Lincoln is out of context and if anything founding fathers of America should be the role models for leaders of Karabakh.

  6. mgl said:

    The only thing USA needs to do in this particular case is to recognize the fact that Karabakh is independent and free..

  7. Masis said:

    No, there is are George Washington’s is Artsakh, who are not going to tolerate tyranny and fight for independence and self determination. Let’s work on that premise. What he doesn’t understand is that there are no politics. All Armenians who haven’t sold their souls to foreign elements want a free and independent Artsakh. U.S. practice of selective democracy and selective dictatorships ought to end.

  8. StarSpangledBanner said:

    Dear Mr. Kirby, thank you for stating that “The United States recognizes the importance of the role of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh in determining their own future”. Given that Nagorno-Karabakh has never been a part of sovereign azerbaijan, does not this settle the issue? Lands claimed by The Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh have been settled by Armenians long before so called azerbaijan came into existence.
    What is the point of perpetuating a Soviet era injustice where the democratic aspirations of a Christian nation are being sacrificed for perhaps some business deals with a despotic, KGB inspired nepotistic regime that brutally curtails the freedom of its own people.

  9. Haig said:

    The population of Nagorno-Karabakh are deciding their own future and they won’t
    care if the state department will accept or not the results of this very democratic election!

  10. Janapar said:

    Of course they do not recognise the elections or the free will of the people. That would mean they would have to legitimize separatist talk back home.