The presidents of Russia, the United States and France during G 8 summit in Canada issued a joint statement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which called on the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to accelerate work on the Main principles of settlement of the conflict in order to begin drafting a Peace agreement, RIA Novosti reported.
«Currently, the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan should make one more step and finalize the Main principles in order to be able to begin peace agreement draft», — said in the statement of Dmitry Medvedev, Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy, which they took as heads of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair states.
The three presidents instructed the ministers and the mediators to «continue actively promote Armenia and Azerbaijan, to overcome the existing differences in preparation for a joint meeting on the margins of the informal ministerial forum of OSCE in Almaty.»
The leaders of Russia, the USA and France reaffirmed their commitment to support the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia to finish reconcilement on the Main principles of the settlement.
The statement noted that the heads of states — co-chairs of the Minsk Group have been considered as an important step towards the recognition by both parties of the fact that the settlement must be based on several principles, among which, returning of the occupied territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, an interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh providing guarantees of security and self-government; corridor linking Armenia with Nagorno- Karabakh.
The final legal determination of future status of Nagorno Karabakh «by a legally binding will of people, the right of all refugees and internal displaced persons to return to their former homes, international guarantees of security, including peacekeeping operations» is among these principles.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group — Russia, France, and the U.S. — are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council’s