Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group from France, Russia and the United States issued one of their longest statements on their efforts to address the Karabakh conflict. The statement said that the co-chairs were “aware of allegations of atrocities” during the April war and called for continued cease-fire, including agreements to strengthen it reached this year. Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh have long agreed to cease-fire strengthening mechanisms. Separately, Karabakh’s ombudsman Ruben Melikyan published a detailed report identifying specific cases of atrocities committed against Armenian civilians and military personnel, including execution and beheadings.
But as before, the co-chairs did not identify the party accused of atrocities and refusing to introduce cease-fire strengthening mechanisms. The statement also outlined details of the so-called Madrid principles for a potential settlement, reproduced here in full:
“We remind the sides that the settlement must be based on the core principles of the Helsinki Final Act, namely: non-use of force, territorial integrity, and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and additional elements as proposed by the Presidents of the Co-Chair countries, including return of the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani control; an interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh providing guarantees for security and self-governance; a corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh; future determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will; the right of all internally displaced persons and refugees to return to their former places of residence; and international security guarantees that would include a peacekeeping operation. Our countries will continue to work closely with the sides, and we call upon them to make full use of the assistance of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs as mediators.“