Status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh should be changed – G8

Status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh should be changed – G8

The G8 had a meeting in Canada and, as at the meeting in the Italian
Acqueville, they issued a joint declaration on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
on behalf of the presidents of co-chairs of OSCE Minsk Group,
mediating between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The presidents of Russia, USA and France – Dmitry Medvedev, Barack
Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy, urged to continue work based on the Madrid
principles. Their declaration includes the following details for a
return to a peaceful settlement process: return of the occupied
territories around Nagorno-Karabakh; temporary status given to
Nagorno-Karabakh, guaranteeing security and autonomy; a corridor
connecting Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh; a final status for
Nagorno-Karabakh, which will be determined based on a declaration of
will; the right of refugees to return; international guarantees of
security, including peacekeeping operations.

Azerbaijan and Armenia appreciated the new declaration, despite the
fact that the three leaders have not come up with anything new. They
just repeated the points made in Acqueville. The sides have not made any
progress yet and dialogue has reached a stalemate. The mediators
failed to convince the countries to continue based on the principles.
Armenia has not decided on its reaction to the points yet. Yerevan
pointed out the instruction in the document to hold a referendum on
Nagorno-Karabakh in the future and the temporary status of autonomy
that the territory will achieve. The Armenian Foreign Ministry
repeated that they approved the scenario of settlement announced in
2007 in Madrid.

Baku gave a positive rating to the declaration emphasising attention o
 recognition of occupation of the territories around Nagorno-Karabakh
and the necessity to free them. The head of the Azerbaijani Foreign
Ministry, Elmar Mammadyarov, announced that Azerbaijan approves the
new version of the Madrid principles.

The main conditions are: freeing 5 of the 7 occupied territories
around Nagorno-Karabakh in the first stage, the other 2 territories to
be freed in 5 years; unblocking communications in the region;
reconstruction works, return of refugees, accommodation of
peacekeepers to guarantee security, granting intermediate status to
Nagorno-Karabakh with wide autonomy; and when the sides restore trust
between them, the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh can be determined,
the minister said.

Despite visible agreement from all sides, the process does not move
any further forward. On July 3rd US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
will visit Baku and then Yerevan. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
plans to visit Yerevan in August. The status quo no longer satisfies
anyone, every co-chair country would want to contribute to a
breakthrough in the direction of Nagorno-Karabakh .


Author: Yevgeniy Krishtaliov, exclusively for VK


G8 Summit: Joint Statement On The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict by Dmitry Medvedev, President Of The Russian Federation, Barack Obama, President Of The United States Of America, and Nicolas Sarkozy, President Of The French Republic
Muskoka, 26 June 2010
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.