Dec 042014
 

BASEL, Switzerland, 4 December 2014 – We, the Heads of Delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries – Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov, Secretary of State of the United States John Kerry,­­ State Secretary for European Affairs of France Harlem Desir – remain strongly committed to a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. There is no military solution, and we call on the sides to refrain from violence and work actively towards a lasting settlement.

We regret the upsurge in violence in the past year along the Line of Contact and the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. Military actions in July and August resulted in a significant loss of life, raised tensions and deepened mistrust between the sides. The sides must take additional actions to reinforce the ceasefire of 1994 and create a more favorable atmosphere for advancing peace talks.

The November 12 downing of a military helicopter along the Line of Contact was an avoidable tragedy that underscored the importance of measures by the sides to reduce tensions, restore trust, and avoid future incidents. We appeal to all sides to demonstrate restraint to prevent further escalation. We also call on them to settle humanitarian issues in the spirit of the Astrakhan statement of October 2010 of the Presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation.

The three meetings between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2014 at Sochi, Newport, and Paris have revitalized the most important channel of communication between the sides. We welcome the agreement by the Presidents in Paris to intensify dialogue in the coming year. It is time for the sides to overcome disagreements, restore confidence, and honour their commitment to enter into a negotiating process that can result in a settlement. They are expected to acknowledge that the basis for a comprehensive settlement are the elements and principles outlined in the joint statements by the Presidents of Russia, the United States, and France, especially those that were discussed during the last summit in Paris. Negotiations on a comprehensive peace agreement under the auspices of the Co-Chair countries should begin as soon as possible.

We remain ready to work closely with the sides to reach a lasting settlement and open a new chapter of peace, but stress that the primary responsibility to end the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict rests with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan.


Source: OSCE Website

Jun 182013
 

ENNISKILLEN, United Kingdom, 18 June 2013 – Joint Statement on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict by Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, and Franсois Hollande, President of the French Republic.

We, the Presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries – France, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America – remain committed to helping the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict reach a lasting and peaceful settlement.  We express our deep regret that, rather than trying to find a solution based upon mutual interests, the parties have continued to seek one-sided advantage in the negotiation process.

We continue to firmly believe that the elements outlined in the statements of our countries over the last four years must be the foundation of any fair and lasting settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.  These elements should be seen as an integrated whole, as any attempt to select some elements over others would make it impossible to achieve a balanced solution.

We reiterate that only a negotiated settlement can lead to peace, stability, and reconciliation, opening opportunities for regional development and cooperation.  The use of military force that has already created the current situation of confrontation and instability will not resolve the conflict.  A renewal of hostilities would be disastrous for the population of the region, resulting in loss of life, more destruction, additional refugees, and enormous financial costs.  We strongly urge the leaders of all the sides to recommit to the Helsinki principles, particularly those relating to the non-use of force or the threat of force, territorial integrity, and equal rights and self-determination of peoples.  We also appeal to them to refrain from any actions or rhetoric that could raise tension in the region and lead to escalation of the conflict.  The leaders should prepare their people for peace, not war.

Our countries stand ready to assist the sides, but the responsibility for putting an end to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict remains with them.  We strongly believe that further delay in reaching a balanced agreement on the framework for a comprehensive peace is unacceptable, and urge the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia to focus with renewed energy on the issues that remain unresolved.


Source: OSCE Minsk Group page

Jan 282013
 

PARIS, 28 January 2013 – On January 28, 2013, the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Jacques Faure of France, and Ian Kelly of the United States of America) met jointly with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, and the Foreign Minister of Armenia, Edward Nalbandian. Also participating in the meeting was the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk.

The Co-Chairs continued discussions with the Ministers on the working proposal to advance the peace process, which they submitted to the sides in October 2012. They also exchanged views on possible confidence building measures.

The Co-Chairs referred to their statements of April 14, 2011 and July 13, 2012, and discussed with the Ministers issues pertaining to civilian flights to and from the airport in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Foreign Ministers and the Co-Chairs stressed the importance of the OSCE Minsk Group as the framework for negotiating a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Foreign Ministers reiterated their support for a peaceful settlement and their determination to continue negotiations. The Ministers and the Co-Chairs agreed to a further discussion of the peace process in the coming weeks.


Source: OSCE Minsk Group Page

Dec 062012
 

DUBLIN, 6 December 2012 – Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov, Secretary of State of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Minister Delegate for European Affairs of France Bernard Cazeneuve issued the following statement today:

“On the occasion of the OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting in Dublin, we, the Heads of Delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries, call upon the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to demonstrate the political will needed to reach a peaceful settlement. As our Presidents stated at Los Cabos on June 18, 2012, the parties should be guided by the Helsinki principles, particularly those relating to the non-use of force or the threat of force, territorial integrity, and equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and the elements outlined in our countries’ statements at L’Aquila in 2009 and Muskoka in 2010. Recalling the statement of our Presidents at Deauville in 2011, we again urge the parties to take decisive steps to reach a peaceful settlement.

“We regret that the expectations of more rapid progress in the peace process, which were raised by the Joint Statement of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, with the President of the Russian Federation at Sochi on January 23, 2012, were not met. Instead, the parties have too often sought one-sided advantage in the negotiation process, rather than seeking to find agreement, based upon mutual understanding. While recognizing the decrease in serious incidents along the Line of Contact and the border in recent months, we remind the parties of the need to continue to respect the ceasefire of 1994, and that the use of military force will not resolve the conflict. We urge the parties to refrain from actions and statements that foster feelings of enmity among their populations and have raised tensions in recent months. The leaders of the sides must prepare their populations for the day when they will live again as neighbors, not enemies, with full respect for each other’s culture, history, and traditions.

“We call upon the parties to demonstrate a greater sense of urgency in the peace process and to work with the Co-Chairs to give full and careful consideration to ideas presented by the Co-Chairs during their trip to the region in November. We welcome the readiness of the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia to meet jointly with the Co-Chairs early in 2013 to continue these discussions. Our countries continue to stand ready to do whatever we can to assist the parties, but the responsibility for putting an end to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict remains with them.”


Source: OSCE Minsk Group page

Sep 202012
 

By Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

WASHINGTON — The United States is “not satisfied” with explanations from Baku and Budapest concerning the case of an Azerbaijani officer who brutally murdered an Armenian soldier at a NATO seminar in Hungary eight years ago.

Philip Gordon, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, told RFE/RL at the Center for European Policy Analysis’ U.S.-Central Europe Strategy Forum on September 20 that Washington continues to express “dismay and disappointment” to Budapest about its decision to release Ramil Safarov to Baku.

He said Washington is sending the same message to Azerbaijan’s government, which pardoned Safarov and then promoted him after his August 31 return to the country.

“We were appalled by the glorification that we heard in some quarters of somebody who was convicted of murder,” Gordon said. He called the case “a real provocation in the region.”

The European Union, the OSCE’s Minsk Group, Russia, and Hungary also expressed concern about Safarov’s pardon and promotion.


Source: RFE/RL

Sep 032012
 

PRESS RELEASE

OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs meet with the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan

PARIS, 3 September 2012 – The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Robert Bradtke of the United States of America, Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, and Jacques Faure of France) and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, met on September 2 with the Foreign Minister of Armenia, Edward Nalbandian, and on September 3 with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, to address recent events in the region and efforts to peacefully resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Co-Chairs discussed with the two Ministers the August 31 decision of the Government of Azerbaijan to pardon Ramil Safarov, an Azerbaijani army officer who had been serving a life sentence in Hungary for the brutal 2004 murder of an Armenian officer in Budapest. They expressed their deep concern and regret for the damage the pardon and any attempts to glorify the crime have done to the peace process and trust between the sides.

The Co-Chairs reiterated to both Ministers that, as their Presidents stated in Los Cabos on June 19, there is no alternative to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. They will continue to maintain contacts with the sides to reduce tensions and advance the peace process.


Source: OSCE Minsk Group page

Sep 032012
 

 

In Russia, which is the co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, received reports with deep concern regarding the clemency of Baku Azeri serviceman Ramil Safarov, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the commission of the murder of an Armenian officer with an extreme atrocity in Hungary in the 2004, as well as regarding the preceded decision of the Hungarian authorities to extradite him to Azerbaijan.

We believe that these actions of Azerbaijan, as well as the Hungarian authorities to run counter to the efforts agreed at international level, particularly through the OSCE Minsk Group, directed to reduce tension in the region.

We also expect that appropriate assessment of the situation will be given by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group in the near future.

3 September, 2012


Source: MFA of Russia: 1. in English; 2. in Russian.

Sep 032012
 

Azerbaijan – Pardon granted to M.Safarov – Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman (September 3, 2012)

France expresses her concern following the announcement of the pardon granted to M. Safarov by the Azerbaijani authorities on Friday, 31 August. In Hungary in 2006 the Hungarian courts sentenced him to life imprisonment for the unspeakable murder of an Armenian officer in Budapest in 2004.

France, who, like the other co-chairs of the Minsk Group, is strongly committed to a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, believes that this decision risks seriously damaging the negotiation efforts and the establishment of a climate of trust between the parties.


Source: France Diplomatie: 1. in English; 2. in French.

Aug 312012
 

President Obama is deeply concerned by today’s announcement that the President of Azerbaijan has pardoned Ramil Safarov following his return from Hungary. Safarov confessed to the murder of Armenian Army officer Gurgen Margaryan in Budapest in 2004, and was serving a life sentence in Hungary for this brutal crime. We are communicating to Azerbaijani authorities our disappointment about the decision to pardon Safarov. This action is contrary to ongoing efforts to reduce regional tensions and promote reconciliation. The United States is also requesting an explanation from Hungary regarding its decision to transfer Safarov to Azerbaijan.


Source: The White House

Aug 312012
 

Press Statement
Patrick Ventrell
Acting Deputy Spokesperson, Office of Press Relations
Washington, DC
August 31, 2012


The United States is extremely troubled by the news that the President of Azerbaijan pardoned Azerbaijani army officer Ramil Safarov, who returned to Baku today following his transfer from Hungary. Mr. Safarov had been serving a life sentence in a Hungarian jail for murdering Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan during a 2004 NATO training event in Budapest.

We are expressing our deep concern to Azerbaijan regarding this action and seeking an explanation. We are also seeking further details from Hungary regarding the decision to transfer Mr. Safarov to Azerbaijan.

We condemn any action that fuels regional tensions.


Source: U.S. Department of State