ICYMI: Presidents Medvedev, Sarkozy and Obama speak out on Nagorna-Karabakh, finally
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.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as everyone remembers, began in 1988 and lasted until 1994. Ensuing peace talks have now lasted nearly three times as long as the fighting. More details here.
Photo: Presidents Obama, Medvedev and Sarkozy wave friendly-like in Deauville, France. Credit: EPA / Peer Grimm