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

Aug 312012
 

On 31 August, 2012 the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice of Hungary has announced about its authorisation to transfer Ramil Sahib Safarov, an Azerbaijani national imprisoned in Hungary since 19 February 2004, sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering Gurgen Margaryan, an Armenian national, to Azerbaijan.

In adopting such decision, the Ministry referred to the Strasburg Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.

The transfer of Ramil Sahib Safarov has been executed without delay. Furthermore, President of Azerbaijan has issued a decree granting pardon to Ramil Sahib Safarov, who already enjoys freedom in Azerbaijan.

Ramil Sahib Safarov has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Courts of Hungary for committing an act of murder against Gurgen Margaryan, an Armenian national. Both Safarov and Margaryan have been visiting Budapest to participate in a NATO PfP language training course. While the Government of Hungary as the host state, has failed to ensure the security of the Armenian participant at an international event on its territory, its law enforcement institutions and Courts have acted promptly to bring the perpetrator to justice.

The Government of Hungary has been informed on numerous occasions by the authorities of Armenia about the environment of glorification and justification of the murderous act of Ramil Sahib Safarov, cultivated in Azerbaijan at official level, including the level of President of Azerbaijan. The Government of Hungary could not have failed to note the numerous public statements of the Azerbaijani officials at different levels to this effect, which should have been sufficient grounds for the doubt about the continuation of the enforcement of the sentence in Azerbaijan. Therefore, the Government of Hungary should have foreseen the implications of its decision to transfer Ramil Sahib Safarov, which effectively resulted in the termination of serving justice by a perpetrator of a murderous act. The Government of Hungary therefore shares moral responsibility for sponsoring a grave criminal act.

The Government of Hungary, at different levels, including the highest, have consistently and up until the last moment assured the Government of Armenia that it will not take any steps whatsoever, which would result in the termination of serving justice by the perpetrator of a heinous murder and explicitly excluded any option for the execution of the transfer. The manner, in which the Government of Hungary has acted in respect of this matter, is also a cause for a deep regret.

Armenia considers the above decision of the Government of Hungary as an unfriendly act, undermining the good co-operative relations between Armenia and Hungary. Today the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia notified the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary about the decision of the Government of Armenia to suspend diplomatic relations between the two states.


Source: MFA of Armenian

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

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 252011
 

The President of the Republic had stated in Strasbourg that it would be possible to expect positive results, progress in Kazan if Azerbaijan did not propose new amendments.

Yet, the Kazan summit didn’t achieve a breakthrough, because Azerbaijan was not ready to accept the last version of the Basic Principles proposed by the three Co-Chairs.

In Deauville the Co-Chair countries had urged the Presidents to come to an agreement in Kazan. President Obama in his phone conversations with the Presidents had made the same call. The President of France Sarkozy had sent messages to the Presidents, as well.

Despite of it the Azerbaijani side proposed approximately a dozen of amendments, and that is the reason why the Kazan meeting did not prove to be a breakthrough.

In any case, I think the meeting was useful in the sense that the detailed discussions continued. And the important point is that President Medvedev, who made a great input in this process during the last three years, expressed willingness to continue his efforts towards according the principles and achieving a final agreement over them.

This was already the 12th meeting between the parties during the last three years. But during this last year Azerbaijan has, in fact, repeated this scenario of coming up with new amendments and proposals at least four times. This is the reality.

Nonetheless, we will continue the negotiations, because there is no other way for the settlement. It is possible to solve the conflict only through peaceful means and negotiations.


Source: Armenian MFA

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