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

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

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