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

Jul 132012
 

YEREVAN, 13 July 2012 – The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Robert Bradtke of the United States, Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, and Jacques Faure of France) and Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk (Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office) traveled July 10-13 to Baku, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Yerevan.

In Baku, the Co-Chairs met with President Aliyev and Foreign Minister Mammadyarov; in Nagorno-Karabakh they met with de facto authorities; in Yerevan, they met with President Sargsian, Foreign Minister Nalbandian, and Defense Minister Ohanyan. On July 11, the Co-Chairs again crossed the Line of Contact by foot. On July 12, they traveled from Nagorno-Karabakh to Yerevan via Kelbajar, their first visit to that region since the October 2010 Field Assessment Mission. In all their meetings, the Co-Chairs reaffirmed their countries’ resolute commitment to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as the Presidents of the three Co-Chair countries emphasized in their June 18 joint statement at Los Cabos.

The Co-Chairs continued discussions from their June 18 meeting in Paris with the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Co-Chairs expressed their deep concern over recent incidents along the frontlines, and reiterated that the sides’ political will to achieve peace is best demonstrated by refraining from maximalist positions, respecting the 1994 ceasefire agreement, and abstaining from hostile public rhetoric.

Regarding reports of the planned opening of an airport in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Co-Chairs received renewed assurances from the sides that they will reject any threat or use of force against civil aircraft, pursue the matter through diplomatic steps, and refrain from politicizing the issue. The Co-Chairs reaffirmed that operation of this airport cannot be used to support any claim of a change in the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, and urged the sides to act in accordance with international law and consistent with current practice for flights over their territory.

The Co-Chairs plan to meet again separately with the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in order to prepare for a joint meeting of the Ministers in September.


Source: OSCE Minsk Group page

Jun 192012
 

LOS CABOS, Mexico, 19 June 2012 – The President of the United States Barack Obama, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, and the President of France François Hollande made the following statement on 18 June on Nagorno-Karabakh at the Los Cabos Summit of the Twenty:

“We, the Presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries – France, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America – are united in our resolute commitment to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The parties to the conflict should not further delay making the important decisions necessary to reach a lasting and peaceful settlement. We regret that the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia did not take the decisive steps that our countries called for in the joint statement at Deauville on May 26, 2011. Nevertheless, the progress that has been achieved should provide the momentum to complete work on the framework for a comprehensive peace.

“We call upon the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to fulfill the commitment in their January 23, 2012 joint statement at Sochi to “accelerate” reaching agreement on the Basic Principles for a Settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict. As evidence of their political will, they should refrain from maximalist positions in the negotiations, respect the 1994 ceasefire agreement, and abstain from hostile rhetoric that increases tension. We urge the leaders to be guided by the principles of the Helsinki Final Act – 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 of a settlement outlined in our countries’ statements at L’Aquila in 2009 and Muskoka in 2010.

“Military force will not resolve the conflict and would only prolong the suffering and hardships endured by the peoples of the region for too long. Only a peaceful, negotiated settlement can allow the entire region to move beyond the status quo toward a secure and prosperous future.

Our countries will continue to work closely with the sides, and we call upon them to make full use of the assistance of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs as mediators. However, peace will depend ultimately upon the parties’ willingness to seek an agreement based on mutual understanding, rather than one-sided advantage, and a shared vision of the benefits that peace will bring to all their peoples and to future generations.”


Source: OSCE Minsk Group page

Jan 232012
 

At the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation, the Presidents of the Republic of Armenia, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Azerbaijan met on January 23, 2012 in Sochi and discussed issues pertinent to the process and prospects of the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

The leaders of the three states underscored the great amount of work conducted towards the resolution of the NK conflict, starting from their meeting on November 2, 2008 when the Parties adopted the Moscow Declaration. The Presidents stated that intensive negotiations allowed to register progress in the reconciliation of the Basic Principles for the settlement of the NK issue.

In the view of the importance of starting the drafting of the Peace Agreement, the Presidents of the Republic of Armenia and Republic of Azerbaijan expressed readiness to expedite the process of reaching understanding with regard to the Basic Principles, taking into account all the works conducted so far.

The two Presidents hailed the mediation mission of the Russian Federation and other Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and expressed hope that the RF, USA and France in that capacity will in the future also bring their active participation to the process of settlement until eventual peace and stability have been established in the region.

Further to the provision of the Joint Declaration adopted on March 5, 2011 in Sochi, the Presidents of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan took note of the jointly drafted report by the Co-Chairs and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office pertinent to the mechanisms for the investigation of the accidents along the line of contact and directed to continue that work.

The Presidents reaffirmed that in the context of the NK settlement, the development of humanitarian contacts between the parties is part of the confidence building measures. With this regard, the Presidents of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan expressed readiness to encourage the establishment of a subsequent dialogue between the representatives of intelligentsia, scientific and social circles.


Original source: President of Russia [Rus]
Armenian source: President of Armenia
Azerbaijani source: President of Azerbaijan

Dec 062011
 

VILNIUS, 6 December 2011 – On the occasion of the OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting in Vilnius, the Heads of Delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries (Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov, Secretary of State of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Minister for European Affairs of France Jean Leonetti) and the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov and Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian reaffirmed the importance of reaching a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Recalling the November 2008 Moscow Declaration, as well as their countries’ statements at the OSCE Ministerial Council meetings in Helsinki (2008) and Athens (2009) and at the OSCE Summit in Astana (2010), the five Heads of Delegation agreed on the need to continue the negotiating process in the format of the OSCE Minsk Group and to improve the climate for making progress towards a peaceful settlement. As one of the steps in this direction, they agreed that further efforts should be made to work on the details of the mechanism to investigate ceasefire violations, which resulted from the joint statement of Presidents Aliyev, Sargsian, and Medvedev at the March 2011 Sochi summit.

Noting the May 2011 statement of their Presidents at Deauville, which urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to finalize the Basic Principles for the Peaceful Settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, the Heads of Delegation of the Minsk Group Co-Chair Countries expressed regret that the parties have been unable to take this decisive step. The three Heads of Delegation reiterated that there can be no military solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and that the United Nations Charter, the Principles of the Helsinki Final Act, and the elements outlined in the joint statements of their Presidents at L’Aquila in July 2009 and Muskoka in June 2010 offer the way for all sides to move beyond the unacceptable status quo to reach a peaceful settlement. In light of the intensive negotiations conducted since the 2007 OSCE Ministerial Council in Madrid, including at the highest level, the three Heads of Delegation urged the parties to give further careful consideration to the proposals that the Co-Chair countries have provided to them.

The Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the Co-Chair countries, including the personal engagement of Presidents Medvedev, Obama, and Sarkozy, in assisting their countries to reach a framework for a comprehensive peace settlement. They informed the Heads of Delegation of the Co-Chair countries that their Presidents are ready to meet again jointly in the near future under the auspices of the Co-Chair countries to continue their direct dialogue, building upon recent experience, on how to bring peace, stability, and prosperity to their peoples.


Source: OSCE Minsk Group page

Jun 242011
 

Dmitry Medvedev met with President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

A joint statement was issued following the meeting.

The statement notes that the Presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Russian Federation reviewed the progress in agreement on the draft of the Basic Principles for Nagorno Karabakh settlement, in accordance with their instructions.

The Presidents acknowledged that common understanding had been reached on a number of issues whose resolution will promote the conditions for approval of the Basic Principles.

The Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan expressed their gratitude to the leaders of Russia, the US and France as co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group for their permanent attention to the Nagorno Karabakh settlement issue and gave a high assessment of the personal efforts of the President of the Russian Federation in helping achieve the agreements.


Source: President of Russia

May 262011
 

We, the Presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group’s Co-Chair countries — France, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America — are convinced the time has arrived for all the sides to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to take a decisive step towards a peaceful settlement.

We reiterate that only a negotiated settlement can lead to peace, stability, and reconciliation, opening opportunities for regional development and cooperation. The use of force created the current situation of confrontation and instability. Its use again would only bring more suffering and devastation, and would be condemned by the international community. We strongly urge the leaders of the sides to prepare their populations for peace, not war.

As a result of efforts by the parties and the Co-Chair countries at all levels, significant progress has been made. The latest version of the Basic Principles, as discussed in Sochi on March 5, lays a just and balanced foundation for the drafting of a comprehensive peace settlement. This document, based on the Helsinki Final Act and elements outlined in our joint declarations in L’Aquila in July 2009 and Muskoka in June 2010, provides a way for all sides to move beyond the unacceptable status quo.

We therefore call upon the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to demonstrate their political will by finalizing the Basic Principles during their upcoming summit in June. Further delay would only call into question the commitment of the sides to reach an agreement. Once an agreement has been reached, we stand ready to witness the formal acceptance of these Principles, to assist in the drafting of the peace agreement, and then to support its implementation with our international partners.


Source: OSCE Minsk Group page

Mar 052011
 

Upon the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation, the Presidents of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan met on March 5, 2011 in Sochi and discussed in detail the process and the prospects of the NK conflict resolution.

After the discussions on the practical implementation of the trilateral Declaration adopted on October 27, 2010 in Astrakhan, in addition to the steps specified in the above mentioned Declaration, the Presidents agreed to take the following confidence building measures:

1. To conclude in the shortest possible period of time the exchange of the prisoners of war,

2. To strive to solve all contentious issues through peaceful means and to conduct along the cease-fire line an investigation with the participation of the parties under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and with the assistance of the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office regarding probable incidents.

The Presidents stressed the importance of their regular meetings on the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and agreed to continue them in the present format and further to the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group.


Original source: President of Russia [Rus]
Armenian source: President of Armenia
Azerbaijani source: President of Azerbaijan

Dec 012010
 

ASTANA, 1 December 2010 – On the occasion of the OSCE Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, the Heads of Delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries (the President of the Russian Federation Dmitri Medvedev, the Prime Minister of France Francois Fillon, and the Secretary of State of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton), the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, and the President of Armenia Serge Sargsian agreed that the time has come for more decisive efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

In this context, they recalled the joint statements of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, with the President of the Russian Federation, on November 2, 2008, in Moscow, and on October 27, 2010, in Astrakhan. They further agreed that a peaceful, negotiated settlement will bring stability and security and is the only way to bring real reconciliation to the peoples of the region.

The Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan reaffirmed their commitment to seek a final settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, based upon: the principles and norms of international law; the United Nations Charter; the Helsinki Final Act; as well as the statements of Presidents Medvedev, Sarkozy, and Obama, at L’Aquila on July 10, 2009, and at Muskoka on June 26, 2010.

The three OSCE Co-Chair countries pledged their support for the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia as they make the necessary decisions to reach a peaceful settlement. They urged the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to focus with renewed energy on the issues that still remain in the Basic Principles, and instructed their Co-Chairs to continue to work with the parties to the conflict to assist in these efforts. In order to create a better atmosphere for the negotiations, they called for additional steps to strengthen the ceasefire and carry out confidence-building measures in all fields.


Source: OSCE Astana Summit page

Oct 272010
 

Dmitry Medvedev, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev discussed future possibilities for reaching a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

At the talks the parties approved a joint statement. The document, which is humanitarian in purpose, has great importance for resolving the conflict in view of the various difficulties still apparent today in Azerbaijani-Armenian relations over the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, Dmitry Medvedev said and added that the statement aims to bolster the ceasefire regime and strengthen confidence-building measures.

The Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents agreed that their first step would be an immediate exchange of prisoners of war and the return of the bodies of those killed. This would be organised with the help of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Answering journalists’ questions after the meeting, Mr Medvedev noted that the general principles for settling the Nagorno-Karabakh problem could be drafted in time for the OSCE summit that will take place on December 1-2, 2010 in Astana.

Today’s trilateral meeting was the seventh so far and the third this year.


Source: President of Russia