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EU's Ashton Says Nagorno-Karabakh Elections Illegal

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton
The European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, has warned that planned parliamentary elections in the disputed Caucasus enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh on May 23 will not be legal.

Ashton said in a statement that the vote "should not prejudice the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict" and urged all parties to redouble efforts to find a negotiated solution to the conflict.

Backed by Armenia, ethnic Armenian separatists seized control of Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan in the early 1990s in a war that left around 30,000 people dead.

Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a cease-fire in their conflict over the region more than a decade ago, but the enclave remains a disputed territory.

compiled from agency reports