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

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.

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

Dec 102006
 

We, the people of Artsakh:

  • filled with the spirit of freedom;
  • realizing the dream of our ancestors and the natural right of people to lead a free and secure life in the Homeland and to create;
  • showing a firm will to develop and defend the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh formed on September 2, 1991 on the basis of the right of self-determination and proclaimed independent by a referendum conducted on December 10, 1991;as a free, sovereign state of citizens with equal rights, where a human being, his life and security, rights and freedoms are of supreme value,
  • affirming faithfulness to the principles of the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic adopted on January 06, 1992;
  • recalling with gratitude the heroic struggle of our ancestors and present generations for the restoration of freedom, bowing to the memory of the perished in a war forced upon us;
  • fulfilled with the power of unity of all Armenians of the world;
  • reviving the historic traditions of statehood in Artsakh; Continue reading »
Mar 252005
 

«Azg» (Yerevan), 2005, March 25

PEACE TO KARABAKH

(to the structure of settlement)

Ву Vladimir Kazimirov

Instead of introduction

Dear visitor of this site,

Under this heading I placed my memoirs basically on the period when I was obliged to head Russia’s intermediary mission on Karabakh settlement, be representative of the President of Russian Federation on Nagorno Karabakh issue and also participant and co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk group from Russia (1992-96).

I would like to spur a serious study of history of peaceful and political settlement of Karabakh conflict. I shall be glad for critical remarks, corrections, even for refutations on separate episodes. I am ready to survey them, first of all, not from positions of author’s insulted vanity but from natural desire to attach more reliability to the description of events of recent past, which, unfortunately, already suffers both involuntary confusion and deliberate distortions. Moreover, I am ready to make corrections to my text or include alternative versions in view of remarks. I have turned to Azerbaijani and Armenian colleagues either involved in this process or closely watching it with an offer to draw the objective picture of Karabakh settlement history in this site.

I’ll post the sketches in the site bit by bit as they are ready. I shall begin with a number of important, at least as I see them, though inconsequent episodes: my appointment to “fire brigade” on Karabakh, first restrictions of military actions, Bishkek, ceasefire since May 12, 1994. I shall try to gradually fill in the gaps that divide them. In view of some disputes on separate events or episodes, I will probably have to attach documents of this process as appendices to these memoirs.

And now let me start looking forward to your arguments or criticism. Alexander Tvardovsky put it right indicating the truth: “Let it be thicker no matter how bitter it is”. Continue reading »