[Helsinki] Joint declaration of the Foreign Ministers and Deputy Minister of France, Russia and the United States on Nagorno-Karabakh

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.

Attachment: Joint MG Statement, Helsinki 04 Dec 2008