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

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

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

Dec 061994
 

Intensification of CSCE action in relation to
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

1. Deploring the continuation of the conflict and the human tragedy involved, the participating States welcomed the confirmation by the parties to the conflict of the cease-fire agreed on 12 May 1994 through the mediation of the Russian Federation in co-operation with the CSCE Minsk Group. They confirmed their commitment to the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and welcomed the political support given by the Security Council to the CSCE’s efforts towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict. To this end they called on the parties to the conflict to enter into intensified substantive talks, including direct contacts. In this context, they pledged to redouble the efforts and assistance by the CSCE. They strongly endorsed the mediation efforts of the CSCE Minsk Group and expressed appreciation for the crucial contribution of the Russian Federation and the efforts by other individual members of the Minsk Group. They agreed to harmonise these into a single co-ordinated effort within the framework of the CSCE.

2. To this end, they have directed the Chairman-in-Office, in consultation with the participating States and acting as soon as possible, to name co-chairmen of the Minsk Conference to ensure a common and agreed basis for negotiations and to realise full co-ordination in all mediation and negotiation activities. The co-chairmen, guided in all of their negotiating efforts by CSCE principles and an agreed mandate, will jointly chair meetings of the Minsk Group and jointly report to the Chairman-in-Office. They will regularly brief the Permanent Council on the progress of their work.

3. As a first step in this effort, they directed the co-chairmen of the Minsk Conference to take immediate steps to promote, with the support and co-operation of the Russian Federation and other individual members of the Minsk Group, the continuation of the existing cease-fire and, drawing upon the progress already achieved in previous mediation activities, to conduct speedy negotiations for the conclusion of a political agreement on the cessation of the armed conflict, the implementation of which will eliminate major consequences of the conflict for all parties and permit the convening of the Minsk Conference. They further requested the co-chairmen of the Minsk Conference to continue working with the parties towards further implementation of confidence-building measures, particularly in the humanitarian field. They underlined the need for participating States to take action, both individually and within relevant international organisations, to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of the region with special emphasis on alleviating the plight of refugees.

4. They agreed that, in line with the view of the parties to the conflict, the conclusion of the agreement mentioned above would also make it possible to deploy multinational peacekeeping forces as an essential element for the implementation of the agreement itself. They declared their political will to provide, with an appropriate resolution from the United Nations Security Council, a multinational CSCE peacekeeping force following agreement among the parties for cessation of the armed conflict. They requested the Chairman-in-Office to develop as soon as possible a plan for the establishment, composition and operations of such a force, organised on the basis of Chapter III of the Helsinki Document 1992 and in a manner fully consistent with the Charter of the United Nations. To this end the Chairman-in-Office will be assisted by the co-chairmen of the Minsk Conference and by the Minsk Group, and be supported by the Secretary General; after appropriate consultations he will also establish a high-level planning group in Vienna to make recommendations on, inter alia, the size and characteristics of the force, command and control, logistics, allocation of units and resources, rules of engagement and arrangements with contributing States. He will seek the support of the United Nations on the basis of the stated United Nations readiness to provide technical advice and expertise. He will also seek continuing political support from the United Nations Security Council for the possible deployment of a CSCE peacekeeping force.

5. On the basis of such preparatory work and the relevant provisions of Chapter III of the Helsinki Document 1992, and following agreement and a formal request by the parties to the Chairman-in-Office through the co-chairmen of the Minsk Conference, the Permanent Council will take a decision on the establishment of the CSCE peacekeeping operation.


Source: OSCE Website

File: Intensification of CSCE action in relation to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

May 051994
 

Participants of the meeting held in May 4-5 in Bishkek on the initiative of the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic, Federal Congress and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation:

-express determination to assist in all possible ways to the cessation of armed conflict in and around Nagorno Karabakh, which does not only cause irretrievable losses to Azerbaijani and Armenian people, but also significantly affects the interests of other countries in the region and seriously complicates the international situation;

-supporting the April 15, 1994 Statement by the CIS Council of heads of states, express readiness to fully support the efforts by heads and representatives of executive power on cessation of the armed conflict and liquidation of its consequences by reaching an appropriate agreement as soon as possible;

-advocate a naturally active role of the Commonwealth and Inter-Parliamentary Assembly in cessation of the conflict, in realization of thereupon principles, goals and the UN and OSCE certain decisions (first of all the UN Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 874, 884);

-call upon the conflicting sides to come to common senses: cease to fire at the midnight of May 8 to 9, guided by the February 18, 1994 Protocol (including the part on allocating observers), and work intensively to confirm this as soon as possible by signing a reliable, legally binding agreement envisaging a mechanism, ensuring the non-resumption of military and hostile activities, withdrawal of troops from occupied territories and restoration of communication, return of refugees;

-agree to suggest Parliaments of the CIS member-states to discuss the initiative by Chairman of Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly V. Shumeyko and Head of the Assembly’s Peacemaking Group on Nagorno Karabakh M. Sherimkulov on creating a CIS peacemaking force;

-consider appropriate to continue such meetings for peaceful resolution of the armed conflict;

-express gratitude to the people and leadership of Kyrgyzstan for creating excellent working conditions, cordiality and hospitality

On behalf of the delegations:

A. Jalilov (signed by R. Guliyev)

K. Babouryan

B. Ararktsyan

V. Shumeyko

M. Sherimkulov

V. Kazimirov (Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation, Head of the Russian Mediation Mission)

M. Krotov(Head of the Secretariat of the Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of CIS member-states)

Bishkek, 5 May 1994


Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic

Original Document in Russian: Bishkek Protocol