DEAUVILLE, France—The U.S., Russian, and French presidents issued a joint statement during a Group of Eight summit in Deauville on May 26, strongly urging “the leaders of the sides to prepare their populations for peace, not war.”
The joint statement calls upon Presidents Sarkisian and Aliyev “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.”
Armenia welcomes statement
The Armenian Foreign Ministry welcomed the statement.
“The statement made today in the sidelines of the G8 Summit in Deauville by the leaders of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries contains important messages and may become an impetus for the settlement of the issue,” said Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian in a statement posted on the ministry’s official website.
“Armenia has always been in support of the settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabagh through exclusively peaceful means and has repeatedly proven that in practice, therefore, it is clear to whom is addressed the unequivocal message of the statement in this regard,” he added.
“Armenia has given a clear answer to the latest version of the Basic Principles proposed by the three co-chairs as a basis for the negotiations of the settlement. If Azerbaijan gives an unequivocal agreement, then it will be possible to register a progress in the process of the settlement,” concluded Nalbandian.
“In yet another misguided exercise in artificial even-handedness, Presidents Obama, Medvedev, and Sarkozy have—at the expense of the OSCE Minsk Group’s work toward a fair and lasting peace—once again failed to directly confront the elephant in the room—namely Azerbaijan’s open military escalation toward war,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “The cause of regional peace would be far better served by concrete steps by these leaders squarely challenging Baku’s belligerence and imposing concrete costs on Azerbaijan for any new threats or acts of aggression.”
Below is the statement in full.
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 at the Deauville Summit of the Eight, May 26, 2011.
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.