OSCE MINSK GROUP ISSUES STATEMENT

Noyan Tapan
Dec 1, 2009

ATHENS, 1 DECEMBER, NOYAN TAPAN. The Heads of Delegation of the OSCE
Minsk Group, 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 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."