STEPANAKERT — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Republic of Artsakh) welcomes the holding of a referendum on the independence of Scotland. The Ministry issued a statement, which reads, in part:

“Irrespective of the results, the referendum in Scotland is one more precedent enriching the world practice of realization of the right of peoples to self-determination and confirming once again the obvious fact that the recognition of the right of peoples to decide their own fate is a norm in a democratic society.

In this connection, we consider it necessary to remind that it was the breach of the right to self-determination of the people of Artsakh by Azerbaijan that led to the mass violations of human rights and deportation of the Armenian population of Azerbaijan, followed by the full-scale aggression of Azerbaijan against the NKR, as a result of which tens of thousands of people were killed, and hundreds of thousands became refugees.

The international recognition of the will of the people of Artsakh, realized in 1991 and affirmed in 2006, will ensure the irreversibility of the peaceful process and will allow focusing efforts on elaborating the necessary mechanisms and conditions for peaceful co-existence of two independent states – the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan that emerged as a result of the collapse of the USSR and the war imposed by Azerbaijan.”

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