Dec 052008
 

We welcome the constructive and positive momentum in the peace process for the political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict established after the two meetings of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2008, in Saint Petersburg on June 6, and especially in Moscow on November 2.

The Moscow Declaration signed by the Presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia opened a promising phase in the process of settling the conflict. We strongly encourage the sides in their aspiration to identify efforts in the negotiation process, in accordance with the provisions of the Moscow Declaration and in co-ordination with the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, to further elaborate the Basic Principles proposed in Madrid on November 29, 2007, and then begin drafting a comprehensive Peace Agreement. We highly appreciate their intention to develop confidence building measures and to consolidate the ceasefire.


Source: OSCE website [MC.DOC/1/08]
File: OSCE Ministerial Statement, Helsinki 05 Dec 2008

Dec 042008
 

We, the Foreign Ministers and Deputy Minister of the OSCE Minsk Group’s Co-Chair countries – France, Russia, and the United States – call on the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to build on the positive momentum established during the meeting of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Moscow on November 2, 2008.

The Moscow declaration signed that same day opened a new and promising phase in our shared endeavor to expand peace in the South Caucasus. In that declaration, the Presidents reaffirm their commitment to advancing a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the framework of the Basic Principles developed by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs in collaboration with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan on the basis of their proposals advanced last year in Madrid.

We call on the parties to work with the Co-Chairs to finalize the Basic Principles in the coming months, and then begin drafting a comprehensive peace settlement as outlined by those agreed principles. In keeping with the Moscow Declaration, we call on the parties to work with the Co-Chairs to develop confidence-building measures, beginning with pulling back snipers from the Line of Contact to save lives of innocent civilians and soldiers as our mediators already proposed to the sides at the highest level during the last visit mid-November. It is urgent for the parties to work with each other, the Co-Chairs, and the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office to stabilize the ceasefire through this and other measures. We reiterate our firm view that there is no military solution to the conflict and call on the parties to recommit to a peaceful resolution.


Source: OSCE website [CIO.GAL/184/08]
File: Joint MG Statement, Helsinki 04 Dec 2008

Nov 022008
 

The Presidents of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia and the Russian Federation, meeting on November 2, 2008, in Moscow, at the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation,

Having held substantive discussions in a constructive spirit on the state and prospects for political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through a continuation of direct dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia through the mediation of Russia, the USA and France as co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group,

  1. Declare that they will facilitate improvement of the situation in the South Caucasus and establish stability and security in the region through political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the principles of international law and the decisions and documents approved within this framework, thus creating favourable conditions for economic growth and all-round cooperation in the region.
  2. Affirm the importance of having the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group continue their mediation efforts, including based on the outcome of the meeting between the parties in Madrid on November 29, 2007, and subsequent discussions on further steps to agree on the basic principles for political settlement.
  3. Agree that peace settlement should be accompanied by legally binding guarantees for every aspect and stage of the settlement process.
  4. Note that the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed to continue work, including through further contacts at the highest level, on reaching a political settlement to the conflict and have instructed the heads of their respective foreign ministries to work together with the co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group to activate the negotiation process.
  5. Consider it important to encourage the establishment of conditions for carrying out confidence-building measures in the context of work on a peace settlement.

Source: Official website of the President of Russia [unofficial translation]
Original source: Official website of the President of Russia [in Russian]
Armenian source: President of Armenia
Azerbaijani source: President of Azerbaijan

Sep 052008
 

The Mujahedin in Nagorno-Karabakh: A Case Study in the Evolution of Global Jihad (WP)

Michael Taarnby
WP 20/2008 – 9/5/2008

Introduction
The current volume of publications dealing with Islamist militancy and terrorism defies belief in terms of its contents. This can be perceived as part of a frantic effort to catch up for the lack of attention devoted to this phenomenon during the 1980s and 1990s, when this field of research field was considerably underdeveloped. The present level of research activity is struggling to keep pace with developments. Thus, it is primarily preoccupied with attempting to describe what is actually happening in the world right now and possibly to explain future developments. This is certainly a worthwhile effort, but the topic of this paper is a modest attempt to direct more attention and interest towards the much overlooked sub-field of historical research within Jihadi studies.

The global Jihad has a long history, and everyone interested in this topic will be quite familiar with the significance of Afghanistan in fomenting ideological support for it and for bringing disparate militant groups together through its infamous training camps during the 1990s. However, many more events have been neglected by the research community to the point where most scholars and analysts are left with an incomplete picture, that is most often based on the successes of the Jihadi groups. Yet there are plenty of examples of failures which have rarely been placed in the larger context and a thorough understanding of these events would undoubtedly provide a much more nuanced picture of the Jihad. Examples such as al-Qaeda’s failure to establish itself in the Horn of Africa and its exodus from Sudan, the lack of local support for the foreign Mujahedin in Bosnia or the more general failure to unite disparate Jihadi groups all provide stimulus for further inquiry. The framework of this particular sub-field would require systematic studies on overlooked and underexploited historical events within Jihadi studies, and this would obviously include obscure militant groups and events.

Somewhat ironically, the only known effort to compile historical case studies with the aim of learning from past mistakes has been undertaking by the Jihadis themselves. The seminal work of Abu Musab al-Suri in his The Global Islamic Resistance Call is little known outside Jihadi ideological circles, yet al-Suri spent several years during a self-imposed sabbatical from the Jihad to devise a new concept of Jihadi warfare. Considering the thought put into this massive 1600-page treaty one has no option but to conclude that he succeeded. Few Western scholars have approached this important book with the respect it deserves, the exception being Brynjar Lia in his equally seminal Architect of Global Jihad.[1]

The sub-field of historical Jihadi studies is wide open to anyone seriously interested in acquiring a deeper understanding of the development of the Jihad. There are plenty of failed militant Islamist groups, lost battles, strategic blunders and vicious ideological strife to examine. They all represent a minuscule part of a large mosaic that, when properly pieced together and understood, will eventually present a much more comprehensive picture of the development of the global Jihad over the past three decades. This is indeed an interesting historical journey and one that presents a number of surprises even for the initiated. The following case study on the Mujahedin who fought in Nagorno-Karabakh is exactly one such very small piece, yet for all its obscurity it sheds light on several subsequent events linked to the Jihad.

See the Full Paper: Elcano Royal Institute – PDF Version or HTML Version

Mar 142008
 

Ms. Štiglic (Slovenia): The European Union recognizes the right of Member States to bring issues to the attention of the General Assembly for consideration, subject to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the rules and procedures of the General Assembly.

However, the European Union believes that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group should retain the lead in settling the Nagorny Karabakh conflict. The EU fully supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group towards a peaceful, just and lasting settlement. The EU reiterates its support for all the principles, without exception, established within the Minsk Group and values the views of the Group’s Co-Chairs.

The settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh issue is an important element of the European Neighbourhood Policy of the European Union and features prominently in the related action plans. In that context, we remain ready to support all steps which contribute to a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

The European Union calls on the parties concerned to avoid any actions that could lead to heightened tensions and undermine the ongoing mediation efforts.

 

Mr. Wolff (United States of America): The political-level representatives of France, the Russian Federation and the United States, as Co-Chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group dealing with the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, jointly proposed a set of basic
principles for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict to the sides in November 2007 on the margins of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Madrid. Those basic principles are founded on the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, including those related to refraining from the threat or use of force, the territorial integrity of States and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples. The proposal transmitted to the sides in Madrid comprises a balanced package of principles that are currently under negotiation. The sides have agreed that no single element is agreed until all elements are agreed by the parties.

Unfortunately, the draft resolution before us today selectively propagates only certain of those principles, to the exclusion of others, without considering the Co-Chairs’ proposal in its balanced entirety. Because of this selective approach, the three OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries must oppose this unilateral draft resolution. They reiterate that a peaceful, equitable and lasting settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict will require unavoidable compromises among the parties that reflect the principles of territorial integrity, non-use of force and equal rights of peoples, as well as other principles of international law.

While the three Minsk Group Co-Chair countries will vote against this unilateral draft resolution, which threatens to undermine the peace process, they reaffirm their support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and thus do not recognize the independence of Nagorny Karabakh. At a time when serious clashes with loss of life have occurred along the line of contact, both sides must refrain from unilateral and maximalist actions either at the negotiating table or in the field.

 

Mr. Ripert (France) (spoke in French): As just stated by the representative of the United States of America on behalf of the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group, France, along with the other two Co-Chairs, will vote against the draft resolution that has been unilaterally presented by Azerbaijan. Our country would reaffirm at the same time our full support for the Common Position of the European Union on the question of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, as presented by Slovenia.

 

Voting results: 39 in favour to 7 against, 100 abstentions:

In favour: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Colombia, Comoros, Djibouti, Gambia, Georgia, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Moldova, Morocco, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen.
Against: Angola, Armenia, France, India, Russian Federation, United States, Vanuatu.

Abstain: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia.

Absent: Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Paraguay, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Syria, Tajikistan, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.


Source: UN Official Records – A/62/PV.86

File: UN Official Records – A/62/PV.86

Mar 142008
 

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly

[without reference to a Main Committee (A/62/L.42)]

62/243. The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan

The General Assembly,
Guided by the purposes, principles and provisions of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling Security Council resolutions 822 (1993) of 30 April 1993, 853 (1993) of 29 July 1993, 874 (1993) of 14 October 1993 and 884 (1993) of 12 November 1993, as well as General Assembly resolutions 48/114 of 20 December 1993, entitled “Emergency international assistance to refugees and displaced persons in Azerbaijan”, and 60/285 of 7 September 2006, entitled “The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan”,

Recalling also the report of the fact-finding mission of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh and the letter on the fact-finding mission from the Co-Chairmen of the Minsk Group addressed to the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe,

Taking note of the report of the environmental assessment mission led by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to the fire-affected territories in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region,

Reaffirming the commitments of the parties to the conflict to abide scrupulously by the rules of international humanitarian law,

Seriously concerned that the armed conflict in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan continues to endanger international peace and security, and mindful of its adverse implications for the humanitarian situation and development of the countries of the South Caucasus,

  1. Reaffirms continued respect and support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan within its  internationally recognized borders;
  2. Demands the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
  3. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the population expelled from the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan to return to their homes, and stresses the necessity of creating appropriate conditions for this return, including the comprehensive rehabilitation of the conflict-affected territories;
  4. Recognizes the necessity of providing normal, secure and equal conditions of life for Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which will allow an effective democratic system of self-governance to be built up in this region within the Republic of Azerbaijan;
  5. Reaffirms that no State shall recognize as lawful the situation resulting from the occupation of the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, nor render aid or assistance in maintaining this situation;
  6. Expresses its support to the international mediation efforts, in particular those of the Co-Chairmen of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, aimed at peaceful settlement of the conflict in accordance with the norms and principles of international law, and recognizes the necessity of intensifying these efforts with a view to achieving a lasting and durable peace in compliance with the provisions stipulated above;
  7. Calls upon Member States and international and regional organizations and arrangements to effectively contribute, within their competence, to the process of settlement of the conflict;
  8. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session a comprehensive report on the implementation of the present resolution;
  9. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-third session the item entitled “The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan”.

86th plenary meeting
14 March 2008


Source: UN General Assembly, 62th Session

Voting Results: 39 in favour to 7 against,  100 abstentions.