Jul 172010
 

ALMATY, Kazakhstan, 17 July 2010 – The Heads of Delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Minister of France Bernard Kouchner, and Deputy Secretary of State of the United States James Steinberg, released the following statement today:

The Heads of Delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Minister of France Bernard Kouchner, and Deputy Secretary of State of the United States James Steinberg met on the margins of the OSCE Informal Ministerial with Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov and Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The Heads of Delegation of the Co-Chair countries recalled the joint statement on Nagorno-Karabakh of December 1, 2009 at the OSCE Ministerial meeting in Athens and reminded the sides of their commitment to seek a peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the principles contained in the Helsinki Final Act, particularly 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. They reiterated that the elements articulated by Presidents Medvedev, Sarkozy, and Obama on July 10, 2009 at L’Aquila and repeated at Muskoka on June 26, 2010 must be the foundation of any fair and lasting settlement to the conflict. These proposed elements have been conceived as an integrated whole, and any attempt to select some elements over others would make it impossible to achieve a balanced solution. Foreign Minister Kouchner and Deputy Secretary Steinberg expressed appreciation for the efforts of President Medvedev and Foreign Minister Lavrov to bridge the differences between the parties, taking into consideration the positions discussed during the meetings in Sochi on January 25, 2010 and in St. Petersburg on June 17, 2010.

The Heads of Delegation of Russia, France, and the United States stressed that the efforts made so far by the parties to the conflict have not been sufficient to overcome their differences. They deplored recent developments which have increased tension in the region, including the serious armed incident of June 18-19, 2010 and inflammatory public statements. They warned that the use of force created the current situation, and its use again would only lead to suffering, devastation, and a legacy of conflict and hostility that would last for generations. They urged a greater spirit of compromise to reach agreement on a common basis for continuing the negotiations. Additional actions by the sides are needed to reinforce the ceasefire of 1994 and to create a more favorable atmosphere for further political dialogue and reaching agreements. The Heads of Delegation of the Co-Chair countries renewed their commitment to support the sides in reaching a peace agreement, but reiterated that the primary responsibility to put an end to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict still remains with Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders.


Source: OSCE web page

Jun 262010
 

MUSKOKA, Canada, 26 June 2010 – The countries of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group released the following today:

We, the Presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group’s Co-Chair countries, France, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America, reaffirm our commitment to support the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan as they finalize the Basic Principles for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

We welcome as a significant step the recognition by both sides that a lasting settlement must be based upon the Helsinki Principles and the elements that we proposed in connection with our statement at the L’Aquila Summit of the Eight on July 10, 2009, relating to: the return of the occupied territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh guaranteeing security and self-governance, a corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh; final status of Nagorno-Karabakh to be determined in the future by a legally-binding expression of will, the right of all internally-displaced persons and refugees to return, and international security guarantees, including a peacekeeping operation.

Now the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan need to take the next step and complete the work on the Basic Principles to enable the drafting of a peace agreement to begin. We instruct our Ministers and Co-Chairs to work intensively to assist the two sides to overcome their differences in preparation for a joint meeting in Almaty on the margins of OSCE Informal Ministerial.


Source: OSCE Minsk Group page

Dec 012009
 

The Heads of Delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Minister of France Bernard Kouchner, and Deputy Secretary of State of the United States James Steinberg met in Athens on December 1 with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov and Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian.

The five Heads of Delegation recalled the commitments in the November 2008 Moscow Declaration and the December 2008 Helsinki OSCE Ministerial Statement. They noted the positive dynamic in the talks, demonstrated through six meetings this year between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. They agreed that the increasing frequency of these meetings has significantly contributed to an enhanced dialogue between the parties and forward movement toward finalizing the Basic Principles for the Peaceful Settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, proposed in Madrid on November 29, 2007.

Foreign Ministers Lavrov and Kouchner and Deputy Secretary Steinberg reiterated the commitment of their countries, as expressed in the Joint Statement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at the L’Aquila Summit of the Eight on July 10, issued by their three Presidents, to support the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan as they complete work on the Basic Principles and urged that the parties complete this work as soon as possible. They stressed that agreement on the Basic Principles would provide the framework for a comprehensive settlement to promote a future of peace, stability, and prosperity for the entire region.

The Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan reported on progress during the course of this year in achieving common understandings on points of the Basic Principles. They stated the willingness of their countries to complete work on the Basic Principles, as stipulated by the Presidents of the Co-Chair countries at L’Aquila. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to work intensively to resolve the remaining issues, to reach an agreement based, in particular, upon the principles of the Helsinki Final Act of Non-Use of Force or Threat of Force, Territorial Integrity, and the Equal Rights and Self-Determination of Peoples.


Source: OSCE webpage [MC.DEL/43/09]
File: Joint statement, Athens 01 Dec 2009

Jul 102009
 

We, the Presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group’s Co-Chair countries France, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America affirm our commitment to support the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan as they finalize the Basic Principles for settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

We are instructing our mediators to present to the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan an updated version of the Madrid Document of November 2007, the Co-Chairs last articulation of the Basic Principles. We urge the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to resolve the few differences remaining between them and finalize their agreement on these Basic Principles, which will outline a comprehensive settlement.

Fact sheet

The ministers of the US, France, and Russia presented a preliminary version of the Basic Principles for a settlement to Armenia and Azerbaijan in November 2007 in Madrid.

The Basic Principles reflect a reasonable compromise based on the Helsinki Final Act principles of Non-Use of Force, Territorial Integrity, and the Equal Rights and Self-Determination of Peoples.

The Basic Principles call for inter alia:

  • return of the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani control;
  • an interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh providing guarantees for security and self-governance;
  • a corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh;
  • future determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will;
  • the right of all internally displaced persons and refugees to return to their former places of residence; and
  • international security guarantees that would include a peacekeeping operation.

The endorsement of these Basic Principles by Armenia and Azerbaijan will allow the drafting of a comprehensive settlement to ensure a future of peace, stability, and prosperity for Armenia and Azerbaijan and the broader region.


Source: OSCE Minsk Group page

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

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

Nov 302007
 

We note with satisfaction that Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to continue the
ongoing negotiations on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during the forthcoming election year.
We support the mediation efforts of the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group, and their development with the parties of a set of basic principles for the peaceful settlement of the conflict. We are strongly encouraging both sides to overcome the last remaining differences and thereby to endorse the overall concept of the settlement and to proceed on this basis with drafting a comprehensive Peace Agreement.


Source: OSCE Madrid Ministerial Council [MC(15) Journal No. 2, Agenda item 8; MC.DOC/2/07 of 30 November 2007]
File: Ministerial Statement (MC.DOC/2/07)

Nov 292007
 

MADRID, 29 November 2007 – The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs issued the following statement today:

“Prior to the opening of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Madrid on November 29, 2007, U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner met with the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Vardan Oskanian and Elmar Mammadyarov, to demonstrate political-level support for the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries’ effort to forge a just and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“In the meeting, the representatives of the United States, France and Russia formally presented a set of Basic Principles for the Peaceful Settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict to the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers for transmission to the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

“It was noted that over the last three years of talks the two sides had significantly narrowed their differences through the mediation of the Co-Chair countries and that only a few differences remained to be settled. As noted by the representatives of the three Co-Chair countries, the joint proposal that was transmitted today to the parties offered just and constructive solutions to these last remaining differences.

“The parties to the conflict were strongly urged to bring to a close the current stage of negotiations by endorsing the proposed Basic Principles and commencing as soon as possible to draft a comprehensive Peace Agreement.”


Source: OSCE Website