Azeri Press Agency, Azerbaijan
July 3 2006

Co-Chairmen of OSCE Minsk Group made statement today. According to
the statement entered APA from the embassy of France to Azerbaijan
"Taking into account recent speculation about the basic principles
for a peaceful settlement of the NK conflict proposed to both parties
by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs, it is necessary to make the following

On June 22 the Minsk Group Co-Chairs reported to the OSCE Permanent
Council on the results of the past months of negotiations between
the sides on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. They reported on their
intensive mediation activities over the past seven months aimed at
achieving agreement on the basic principles for a settlement. These
included three visits of the Co-Chairs to Baku and Yerevan, three
times together and several more times separately, two meetings of
the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and two
summits between Presidents Kocharian and Aliyev, first in Rambouillet
in February and then in Bucharest in early June. In addition, a joint
Mission of Representatives of the Co-Chair countries at the Deputy
Foreign Minister level traveled to the region in May. Throughout
their mediation efforts, the Co-Chairs stressed, as always, the
belief of their nations and of the international community that the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be resolved in no other way than a
peaceful one. They also stressed the need for the leaders of Armenia
and Azerbaijan to prepare their publics for peace and not for war.

The mediation efforts of the Co-Chairs resulted in the proposal
to Presidents Aliyev and Kocharian of a set of fair, balanced,
and workable core principles that could pave the way for the two
sides to draft a far-reaching settlement agreement. The principles
are based on the redeployment of Armenian troops from Azerbaijani
territories around Nagorno-Karabakh, with special modalities for
Kelbajar and Lachin districts (including a corridor between Armenia
and Nagorno-Karabakh), demilitarization of those territories, and
a referendum or population vote -- at a date and in a manner to
be decided through further negotations -- to determine the final
legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh. Deployment of an international
peacekeeping force and a joint commission for implementation of the
agreement would be established, and international assistance would
be made available for demining, reconstruction, and resettlement of
internally displaced persons in the formerly occupied territories
and the war-affected regions of Nagorno-Karabakh. Certain interim
arrangements for Nagorno-Karabakh would allow for interaction with
providers of international assistance. The sides would renounce the
use or threat of use of force, and international and bilateral security
guarantees and assurances would be put in place. Regarding the vote to
determine the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Co-Chairs stressed
that suitable pre-conditions for such a vote would have to be achieved
so that the vote would take place in a non-coercive environment in
which well-informed citizens have had ample opportunity to consider
their positions after a vigorous debate in the public arena.

Unfortunately, at their most recent meeting in Bucharest the Presidents
did not reach agreement on these principles. The Co-Chairs continue
to believe that the proposals developed through the past two years
of negotiations hold the best potential for achieving a just and
lasting settlement of the conflict. They strongly believe that it is
now time for the two Presidents to take the initiative for achieving
a breakthrough in the settlement process based on these principles,
and they stand ready to assist the parties to conclude an agreement
if the Presidents indicate they are prepared to do so.

Although no additional meetings between the sides under the auspices
of the Co-Chairs are planned for the immediate future, they will be
ready to reengage if the parties decide to pursue the talks with the
political will that has thus far been lacking.