Armenia must sign Madrid principles

Armenia should officially agree to the statement made by the Presidents of the co-chair countries in Canada on June 26, the political scientist Stepan Grigoryan told reporters on July 8.

His proposal is one of the five points that the Armenian authorities are supposed to honor during the next five years. Armenia’s second step must be to demand that, before a peace treaty has been signed, all the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should put their signatures to the Madrid Principles.

According to Grigoryan, the Armenian authorities’ third step must be applying to the OSCE Minsk Group, including Turkey, so that the OSCE Minsk Group member-states assume the responsibility for unilateral recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence if Azerbaijan refuses to honor its commitments.  

Armenia’s fourth step is to ask the OSCE Minsk Group to put the issues of establishing mutual confidence on the negotiating table. Without confidence between the conflicting parties any progress in the negotiations is impossible.

The fifth step is explaining the essence of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to the international community by means of diplomatic channels, as well as at the intergovernmental and inter-parliamentary level, as the Azeri propaganda caused the international community to have a false idea of the conflict.

All the five steps must be simultaneously taken for the best results to be produced, Grigoryan said.

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Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is of particular concern
“The South Caucasus continues to be a region characterized by volatility and instability, and the international community must remain engaged, particularly in the area of conflict resolution and the promotion of democratic reform,” said European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus Peter Semneby in an address to the OSCE Permanent Council today, OSCE website reports.

“Given the high stakes involved, there is a clear need for the international community to remain fully committed and engaged in the region,” he said.

He spoke about the EU’s efforts to resolve the conflicts and to promote the consolidation of democracy and rule of law in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia: “These efforts will only be successful through concerted efforts of the international community. The role of the OSCE is extremely important in this regard and it is the partner of choice for the EU.”

Semneby emphasized that addressing the unresolved conflicts in the region remained a priority for the EU.

“The unresolved conflicts in the South Caucasus are the primary threats to the region's stability since the status quo is inherently unstable and contains dangers of escalation.

This was demonstrated by the August 2008 war in Georgia. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is of particular concern; there are recurring deadly incidents along the line of contact,” he said.

“The protracted conflicts also undermine EU efforts to promote political reform and economic development in its Eastern neighborhood.”

As reported previously, Catherine Ashton offered to abolish the posts of EU special representatives in the South Caucasus and Moldova.
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved on three principles of Helsinki final act

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved on the basis of the three principles of the OSCE final Helsinki act: nonuse of force, peoples’ right to self-determination and territorial integrity, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told journalists in Yerevan.

According to her, U.S. President Barack Obama stressed that fact at his meetings with his Russian and French counterparts, Dmitry Medvedev and Nicolas Sarkozy.

The conflicting parties seem to realize the fact that the problem must be resolved on the basis of these principles, Clinton said. She reaffirmed the USA’s readiness to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the conflict though it is not an easy process.

She also stressed that the OSCE Minsk Group, as well as the states’ leaders, is actively working to resolve the conflict. In this context, progress is expected in reaching a final and long-lasting settlement of the conflict, Clinton said.

She pointed out the unacceptability of settling the conflict by means of violence, expressing her regret over the recent incidents on the contact line between the Azerbaijani and Nagorno-Karabakh armed forces. The U.S. regrets the death of people and urges the sides to refrain from such actions, Clinton said.

RA Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian stressed that at the trilateral talks in Saint Petersburg the states’ leaders agreed to continue the talks from the point set in Saint Petersburg.

The U.S., Russian and French Presidents expressed their support for the process in their statement at the G8 summit, and the negotiations within the OSCE Minsk Group must be continued under the agreements, the Minister said.

The Minister also stressed that Armenia shares the USA’s opinion that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved on the principles of nonuse of force, peoples’ right to self-determination and territorial integrity.

Armenia also shares Washington’s opinion on the need for refraining from militant rhetoric and establishing an atmosphere of tolerance in the region.