International mediation on the settlement of the conflict started in 1992 in the framework of the so- called OSCE Minsk Group process which is the only forum on the formation of the comprehensive model for the settlement of Armenian- Azerbaijani conflict.
The OSCE Minsk Group has been formed to take a political decision concerning this problem. It is a forum for the preparation of Minsk Conference.
Following the military operations and the seizure of Azerbaijani cities, the UN Security Council adopted resolutions Nr 822, 853, 854, 884 which provide that Armenian military units should be withdrawn from the territory of Azerbaijan immediately and unconditionally, and the refugees and displaced persons should be able to return home.
The main milestones in the negotiations were OSCE Budapest and Lisbon Summits.
The OSCE Budapest Summit of 1994 took a decision to form an institute of co-chairmen of Minsk conference and entrust them with the duty “to conduct negotiations in order to conclude political agreement on the termination of the armed conflict (Great political agreement), the realization of which will eliminate the main consequences of the armed conflict for all sides and will permit to call Minsk conference”.
Thus, Budapest Summit determined the two-phase structure of the settlement process:
1. the first stage - elimination of the consequences of the armed conflict; it means total liberation of all occupied territories and return of all displaced persons to their permanent places of living;
2. the second stage - comprehensive peaceful settlement will be achieved following Minsk conference.
Budapest Summit also reached a decision on conducting OCSE peacekeeping operation after concluding the political agreement. Following Budapest Summit the co-chairmen (Russia-Finland) organized and conducted 16 rounds of talks and numerous consultations with the participants of the conflict.
In that period of time they reconciled about 75% of the text of the draft of the Agreement and its Addenda. However, as far as the matters of principle are concerned - total liberation of all occupied territories including Shusha and Lachin regions, security for all the participants of the conflict and the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the territory of Azerbaijan - the agreement hasn’t been reached.
In his statement at Lisbon Summit in 1996 the president of the OSCE, set up three principles for the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.
- Territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan.
- Legal status of Nagorny Karabakh determined in the agreement and based on the self- determination which grants Nagorny Karabakh the highest degree of self-government within Azerbaijan.
- Security guarantees to Nagorny Karabakh and all its population including mutual obligations to observe the settlement provisions by all parties.
These principles were supported by 53 OSCE member states, except Armenia.
In November 1996 Armenia unilaterally broke off direct consultations between the Presidential Advisers of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
After Lisbon Summit and the establishment of the institution of triple Co-chairmanship (Russia- France-USA) the only one round of talks held in April 1997 was open-ended.
In June-September 1997 the Co-chairmanship prepared and brought before the parties a new document which specified a two-stage settlement of the conflict according to the following scheme:
- the first stage - the liberation of the 6 regions occupied during the conflict outside the former NKAR (except Lachin region), return the civilians to their homes and reconstruction of the main communications in the region;
- the second stage - the settlement of the dispute around Lachin and Shusha regions and adoption of the main principles for the status of Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The complete comprehensive settlement of the conflict including the Agreement on the self- government status of Nagorny Karabakh within Azerbaijan will be reached at Minsk conference.
In September 1997 Azerbaijan officially informed the Co-chairmanship of the adoption of the document as a basis for the subsequent negotiations.
In October 1997 in Strasbourg the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia made a joint statement about their readiness to start negotiations on the basis of the proposals made by the Co-chairmen.
In December 1997 in Copenhagen the session of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs OSCE circulated the Report of the Co-chairmen which stressed the need to continue the efforts aimed at the settlement of the conflict on the basis of Lisbon principles and the proposals of the Co-chairmanship.
On May 13-17, 1998 during the visit of the Co-chairmen to the region, Armenia officially declared the recall of the consent of the former President of Armenia to the proposals on the phased settlement and spoke for the “package” settlement without any preconditions.
Armenia strongly objects to the principles of Lisbon Summit and seeks the discussion of the status of Nagorny Karabakh as an independent state.
On April 2, 1999, a meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia during the CIS Summit in Moscow was held at which an agreement was reached on undertaking a series of meetings for discussing the problems of the peaceful settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.
An exchange of views and positions of the parties was continues at the meetings of the presidents on April 24 in Washington, on August 16 and 22 in Geneva, on September 10 in Yalta and on October 11 in the village of Sadarak. During the meetings an agreement was reached on the consultations between MFA and MoD of Azerbaijan and Armenia on the problems of enforcement of the cease-fire rejime, confidence-building measures, procedures of preventing and settlement of the border incidents, as well as the development of the agreed basis for the resumption of the negotiations process within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. As an implementation of the agreement meetings and consultations of defence ministers (September 14 and October 11) and of foreign ministers (Seprtember 10, September 30 and October 12) of Azerbaijan and Armenia were held.
On September 18, 1999, during the visit of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office K. Vollebaek to Baku it was declared that the meetings and consultations of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia did not substitute the OSCE Minsk process and the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group was called to speed up their activities and make a new proposal acceptable to both parties.
On November 18-19, 1999, in the Final Document of the OSCE Istanbul Summit and in the report of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office it was once again underlined that the Minsk Group was the most suitable format for the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh problem, the continuation of the dialogue of two presidents which is to complement the Minsk process was welcomed, and the parties were called to resume as soon as possible the negotiations on the conflict settlement. The European Security Charter was adopted at the OSCE Istanbul Summit. It is a legally-binding document that confirms the OSCE principles and norms and the resulting commitments of the states on the observance of the sovereignty and territorial integrity.
On December 13-15, 1999, the first visit of new Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group to the region was held. The Co-Chairmen of the Minsk Group declared that they would begin the work on new proposals that would be based on the elements on which the agreement had been reached at the meetings of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia. In its actiities on the settlement of the conflict the Co- Chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group will pay a considerable attention to the economic development of the region. On this purpose the Co-Chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group expressed their intention to appeal to the world financial institutions, public and non-governmental organizations to send experts to the region in order to carry out the works on estimating the costs of the reconstruction of the region.
On January 24, 2000, during the Summit of the CIS member-states in Moscow a separate meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, and on January 25 a quadripartite meeting with the participation of presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and the Acting President of the Russian Federation V. Putin were held. Consultations between presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia were resumde during the meetings and it was declared that the policy of the "Four" in the region will be based on the principles of the international law and, first of all, on the absolute acknowledgement of the principle of territorial integrity of the sovereign states.
On January 28, 2000, at the World Economic Forum in Davos the consultations between presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia on searching the ways of peacefull settlement of the conflict. The foreign ministers of the two countries took part in the meeting.
On July 20, 2000, during the Summit of the CIS member-states in Moscow a quadripartite meeting with the participation of the presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and the Russian Federation was held. The questions of peaceful settlement of conflicts in South Caucasus, the problem of consolidation of regional security, including the cooperation in the struggle against international terrorism as well as in humanitarian and other fields. The text of joint statement signed as a result of the meeting of three presidents was also circulated. The statement says that the sides expressed their adherence to the continuation of meetings in this format, welcomed the initiative of the world community and international organisations, which assist the acceleration of settlement of conflicts in South Caucasus. Heads of states agreed that such meetings will be held not less than two times a year and as a rule will be held during CIS summits.
On July 2-5, 2000, the visit by the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group to the region was held. In their activities on the settlement of the conflict a great attention was paid to the economic development of the region. With this aim the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group appealed to the world financial institutes, social non-governmental organisations to send experts to the region to estimate the possibilities of its economic reconstruction. During the visit, the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group made a statement that they would search the methods of modifying the plan of the Karabakh conflict settlement.
On November 30, 2000 in Minsk during the Summit of the heads of the countries of CIS the bilateral meeting of the President of Azerbaijan H. Aliyev and of Armenia R. Kocharyan took place. After the ending of the meeting the President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev declared that he was satisfied on the whole with last negotiations. The President H. Aliyev justified his satisfaction by unofficial feature of the meeting but that the Presidents of these two countries are in the process of the search of the ways of the solution of Nagorniy Karabakh problem. As the President of Armenia R. Kocharyan noticed in his turn, the agreement about the intensification of the meetings was achieved at the meeting.
On January 25, 2001 in Paris negotiations of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan Robert Kocharyan and Heydar Aliyev in the presence of the President of Republic of France Jacques Chiraq. In the briefing after the negotiations, which took place in Paris in Yelisey Palace in the presence of the President of the Republic of France Jacques Chiraq, the President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan noticed, that "the complete solution of the problem was maybe achieved at the attraction to the negotiations of the representatives of Nagorniy Karabakh". The President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev said in his turn that "as soon as we come to something concrete at the bilateral negotiations with the leader of Armenia, perhaps the third part may appear ". Both Presidents characterized their bilateral negotiations in Paris as "rather positive", having informed, that they outlined the plan of the following meeting in the very near future.
May 31, 2001 - At the CIS Summit in Minsk the trilateral meeting among President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan and President of Russia Vladimir Putin was held. During the meeting the three presidents discussed the problem of the peaceful settlement of Armenian- Azerbaijani, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
August 1, 2001 - At the informal Summit of the CIS countries in Sochi President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev and President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan held a bilateral meeting. During the meeting they had a wide discussion on the problem of the peaceful settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.
Currently the Co-Chairs are pursuing their objective to present a compromise settlement plan to the conflict based on the principles of international law.
March 8 - In search of the advancing the peace process, the Co-chairmen suggested to appoint Special Representatives of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia for negotiations on the conflict. The Special Representatives met three times during a year, twice in Prague - in May and July and once in Vienna - in November;
July 12 - In the final document of the EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Committee, the EU reaffirmed its support to the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan as the basis for the peaceful solution of the conflict;
August 2 - The EU condemned holding of the so-called "presidential elections" in Nagorno- Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
January 23 - An Enlarged Bureau of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers held a special session in Strasburg on the fulfillment of the obligations undertaken by Azerbaijan and Armenia to peacefully settle the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.
January 30 - The Secretary General of the Council of Europe voiced regret at the recent declaration on "ethnic incompatibility between Armenians and Azerbaijanis", made by President Kocharian of Armenia.
"Recalling dark pages of European history will never be a good electoral strategy", underlined Walter Schwimmer in reference to the upcoming presidential elections in Armenia, scheduled for 19 February.
February 19 - March 5 The presidential elections in Armenia.
first round - second round R. Kocharyan was elected as the president of the Republic of Armenia for his second term. The observers of OSCE/ODIHR, CE Parliamentary Assembly reported that the elections were held with serious irregularities.
June 19 - The coalition government of Armenia submitted its action plan for the next four years to the parliament. The section "Defense and Security" of this program states that, "as in previous years, the government sees the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem within peace negotiation process, emphasizing international recognition of the right of the "Artsakh" (Nagorno-Karabakh) people to self- determination and security guarantees of the population of the "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic". The very possibility of subordination of the "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic" to Azerbaijan is ruled out."
During the presentation of the program, the Armenian Prime Minister A.Markaryan, speaking about the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, said: "Karabakh must not be part of Azerbaijan, must have a common border with Armenia and that the self-determination of the Karabakh Armenians must be recognized by the world".
August 19 - During monitoring held by the Office of Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border in the Tovuz region of Azerbaijan the Armenian side again broke ceasefire regime, as a result of which the monitoring process was immediately stopped. Unfortunately, the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprczyk refused to mention this fact in his information report.
September - Co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group from Russia N.Gribkov was replaced by Y.Merzlyakov. During his visit to the region he held series of meetings with Azerbaijani officials on September 3-5.
October 15 - The presidential elections in Azerbaijan.
Ilham Aliyev was elected as the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan for his first term.
December 11 - The first meeting of the President of Azerbaijan Mr. I.Aliyev with his Armenian counterpart in Geneva.
April 16 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Cochairmen in Prague.
April 28-30 - The meeting of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Warsaw.
May 12-13 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Cochairmen in Strasbourg.
June 21 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Cochairmen in Prague.
June 28/29 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with the presence of the Turkish Foreign Minister Mr. Abdullah Gul in Istanbul
August 3-12 - Command staff exercises conducted by Armenian armed forces in the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan in its statement drew the attention of the international community to the fact that conducting of these exercises is another obvious evidence of the aggression by the Republic of Armenia against the Republic of Azerbaijan, and of occupation of its territories.
August 8 - "elections" to the "local self-government bodies" were held by the authorities of the Armenian separatist regime in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
In the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan it was noted that such kind of "elections" may not pretend to have a single piece of legitimacy because they are in complete contradiction with the norms of international law, as well as with the national legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan, since they are being held in conditions of continuing aggression, occupation and forceful expulsion of one third of the indigenous population of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Azerbaijani origin.
August 30 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Cochairmen in Prague.
September 15 - The meeting of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan within the CIS Summit in Astana. The President of Armenia Robert Kocharian requested to delay the following Prague meeting (25th of October 2004) of the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia for need to analyze and comprehend the results of the previous four meetings of Foreign Ministers.
October 14 - Azerbaijan requested the inclusion of an additional item in the agenda of the fifty- ninth session of the UN General Assembly, entitled "The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan".
October 29 - Acting on the recommendations of its General Committee, the UN General Assembly decided to include an additional item on its current agenda entitled "The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan". It took that decision by a recorded vote of 43 in favour to 1 against (Armenia) with 99 abstentions.
November 19 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Berlin.
November 23 - Additional item #163 "The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan" was debated on the 59th session of UN General Assembly. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan gave a speech concerning the content of the additional item and illegal activities of Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
December 5 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Cochairmen in Sofia.
December 6-7 - The meeting of the 12th OSCE Ministerial Council in Sofia. The adoption of the Ministerial Council statement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which "commend the progress achieved in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 2004, in particular, the three meetings of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan under the auspices of the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group and welcome the creation of the so-called "Prague Process", through which four meetings between the Foreign Ministers of both countries allowed the methodical re-examination of all the parameters of a future settlement".
December 9 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Brussels in the framework of NATO EAPC Ministerial.
January 11 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen in Prague.
January 25 - Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution 1416. The resolution reaffirms "that independence and secession of a regional territory from a state may only be achieved through a lawful and peaceful process based on democratic support by the inhabitants of such territory and not in the wake of an armed conflict leading to ethnic expulsion and the de facto annexation of such territory to another state." The Assembly calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to make use OSCE Minsk Process and actively submit to each other via the Minsk Group their constructive proposals for the peaceful settlement of the conflict. David Atkinson, special PACE Rapporteur on Nagorno-Karabakh, the author of the resolution and recommendations, responding to the question of the BBC correspondent on the principle of territorial integrity vs. the principle of self-determination in resolution of the conflict, stated that principle of self-determination can not be applied to the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, because Azerbaijan stands for its territorial integrity, recognized by international community.
January 30 - February 5 - The visit by the "OSCE Minsk Group Fact-Finding Mission on Settlements in the Occupied Territories of Azerbaijan" to the occupied territories - Aghdam, Jabrayil, Fizuli, Zangilan, Gubadly, Kalbajar and Lachin - of Azerbaijan.
February - The OSCE dispatch Fact-Finding Mission to investigate the Armenian illegal settlements in the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
March 2 - The meeting of the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan with the OSCE Minsk Group Co- chairs in Prague.
The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs officially presented a report of the OSCE Minsk Group Fact- Finding Mission (FFM). In their joint statement Co-Chairs pointed that "the mission found evidence of the presence of settlers in the territories examined" and recommended "that any further settlement of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan should be discouraged". They urged "the parties to accelerate negotiations toward a political settlement in order, inter alia, to address the problem of the settlers and to avoid changes in the demographic structure of the region, which would make more difficult any future efforts to achieve a negotiated settlement". In his comments Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammedyarov considered the FFM report as objective in general. The FFM determined about 16,000 settlers in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan outside the Nagorno-Karabakh region. "It is clear that the longer they remain in the occupied territories, the deeper their roots and attachments to their present places of residence will become. Prolonged continuation of this situation could lead to a fait accompli that would seriously complicate the peace process" said Co-Chairs' statement.
April 15 - Continuation of "Prague process" in London. Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan and Armenia met separately with the Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group to discuss further steps to resolve the conflict. The mediators - France, Russia and the US declared that the peace process has entered a "sensitive juncture, where a first step towards an agreement could be at hand in the framework of the discussions between the parties."
April 27 - The meeting of the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan with the OSCE Minsk Group Co- chairs in Frankfurt.
In the threshold of the Council of Europe's Summit in Warsaw Presidents Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Robert Kocharyan of Armenia met at the Belvedere palace in the presence of the OSCE Minsk group Co-chairs, and Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov of Russia and Michel Barnier of France. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov has briefed journalists on the three-hour meeting. "Despite certain progress has been reached, there is still a need for further discussion," he said. The Minister added that after the meeting the Presidents have assigned the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia to continue negotiating some important issues other than those agreed within the Prague process. According to him, the Co-chairs will also continue their activities. "Generally, no format of the talks but their result is important for Azerbaijan, in other words, territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored," the Minister said.
June 17 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs in Paris.
June 19 - "Elections" to the "parliament" were held by the authorities of the Armenian separatist regime in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
In its statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan noted that such kind of "elections" may not pretend to have a single piece of legitimacy because they are in complete contradiction with the norms of international law, as well as with the national legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan, since they are being held in conditions of continuing aggression, occupation and ethnic cleansing. It states that such activities by Armenian side do not fit with the spirit of negotiation process, esp. when there is a hope for positive step forwards and that continuous peace cannot be achieved without normalization of life and peaceful co-existence and cooperation of Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
July 5 - The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly considered a report on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict at its session held in Washington. The report prepared by the Assembly's special envoy on the conflict Goran Lennmarker from Sweden. In his comments Mr. Lennmarker stressed that "the conflict is not frozen. Several people are killed along the line-of-contact every year". He added: "there is no alternative to a peaceful solution - in fact there is an urgent need to solve the conflict in order to end the personal, economic, and social suffering on both sides of this conflict". Mr. Lennmarker suggested basing a solution on experiences from Europe, where democracy and integration are fundamental components in securing a lasting peace. The report points out the fundamentals of ending of occupation, the return of refugees and IDPs as well as democracy and minority rights. Swedish diplomat recommends autonomy solution referring to an example of the Aland islands.
July 10-12 - The OSCE Group Co-Chairs (Ambassadors Steven Mann of the U.S., Yuriy Merzlyakov of Russia and Bernard Fassier of France) visited Azerbaijan and Armenia. In Azerbaijan they met with President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov as well as with Nizami Bakhmanov, the head of the expelled Azerbaijani community from the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. The Co-chairs told journalists at a press conference on July 12 that they discussed with President and Foreign Minister the principles, which could have become a basis for the future peace treaty. Mediators pointed out that much would depend on the two leaderships' political will and the peoples' desire.
During the meetings Co-Chairs discussed, among other issues, an Azerbaijani initiative to open a road network Agdam-Khankendi-Shusha-Lachin-Goris-Nakhichevan which would open communication line from Azerbaijan to Armenia and Nakhichevan enclave of Azerbaijan as well as Turkey. Nizami Bkhamanov positively responded to an idea of launching a dialogue between Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Araz Azimov commented Co-Chairs' meetings in Baku as "effective and fruitful." But he said that "negotiations were rather difficult and complicated." "I can't say that agreements have been reached. At all the meetings Azerbaijan has demonstrated a constructive position. Armenia also should occupy a constructive position, otherwise all opportunities will be missed," said Azimov. Azimov pointed out that Armenia tries to bring "new elements," which are not subject of the negotiations. "There are great chances to achieve peace right now and the opposing party can lose them. I urge Armenia to use this chance," said Azimov. "Azerbaijani occupied territories must be given back. Armenia must not claim to Azerbaijani territories under the pretext of the corridor (linking Armenia with Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan). Armenia can use the road passing through the Lachin corridor. But Lachin city cannot remain under occupation."
Opening of Agdam-Khankendi-Shusha-Lachin-Goris-Nakhichevan road will help to improve relationships and restore cooperation and confidence between people, said Azimov. He also stressed that the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh region could be resolved only through joint efforts of Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of Nagorno-Karabakh. "At present, part of people living in Nagorno Karabakh is Armenians, who arrived from abroad. Local Armenians are Azerbaijani citizens and Azerbaijanis must determine their status by themselves. For this purpose Azerbaijani population must return to the liberated territories and economic relationships and mutual confidence must be restored," said Azimov.
August 12 - In its Address to the voters, the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan notified of the start of functioning of Khankendi Constituency No. 122 and called all citizens of Azerbaijan of Armenian origin living in Khankendi, Shusha, Khojali, Khojavend and other settlements of Nagorno Karabakh regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan, together with their countrymen to exercise their voting rights in Khankendi Constituency No. 122 and Shusha-Fuzuli-Khojali-Khojavend Constituency No. 124.
August 24 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs in Moscow.
August 26-27 - The meeting of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan within the CIS Summit in Kazan.
September 12 - The item entitled "The situation on the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan" was included into the agenda of the 60-th session of the UN General Assembly. On the same day the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe held discussion on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict in Paris. The PACE decided to follow further the process of honouring by two sides the decisions contained in the January 2005 PACE resolution on the conflict settlement.
September 14 - An international organization - International Crisis Group (ICG) working to prevent conflicts worldwide has issued report on Armenia-Azerbaijani conflict. ICG vice-president Alain Deletroz told at news conference in Baku that Armenia should not insist on the determination of the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, as disputes over the issue have considerably delayed the conflict resolution. "Armenia must withdraw from seven occupied Azerbaijani districts, refugees should return home, trust be restored between the two sides, and at last, the Karabakh status determined." Deletroz said that the activities to be carried out prior to the status determination will take at least 15-20 years. Deletroz said that just like all other international organizations, the ICG considers the Nagorno- Karabakh a part of Azerbaijan. "This is the legal aspect of the issue and there is no problem with it. The problem is that the Nagorno-Karabakh is de-facto in the hands of Armenians." The ICG project director on South Caucasus Sabin Frasier said the organization has welcomed the resumption of activity of the Khankandi district constituency in the Nagorno-Karabakh, which will allow ethnic Armenian citizens of Azerbaijan to vote in the November parliament elections in Azerbaijan.
December 5 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs in Ljubljana within the framework of the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting.
December 5-6 - The meeting of the 13th OSCE Ministerial Council in Ljubljana. The adoption of the Ministerial Council statement on the conflict dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Group, which "takes note with satisfaction of the progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations through the "Prague Process" in 2005, and in particular the two meetings of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Warsaw and Kazan under the auspices of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, and encourages the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to use the current promising window of opportunity in order to attain within the coming year significant achievements in the settlement of the conflict in the framework of the OSCE Minsk process."
December 16 - The visit of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to Azerbaijan.
December 16-20 - The reconnaissance trip of the High-Level Planning Group (HLPG) of the OSCE to Azerbaijan.
January 18-19 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs in London.
January 20-27 - The reconnaissance trip of the High-Level Planning Group (HLPG) of the OSCE to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
February 1 - The visit of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to Azerbaijan.
In May - for the first time since 1997, when the current format of the Co-Chairmanship of the Minsk Group was established, a joint Mission of Representatives of the Co-Chair countries at the Deputy Foreign Minister level traveled to the region in order to make clear to the Presidents of both countries that 2006 was the necessary window of opportunity for reaching an agreement on Nagorno-Karabakh.
June 22 - According to the Co-Chairmen report of 2006 in Vienna, a set of core principles had been proposed to Presidents Aliyev and Kocharian. They clarified that their approach was not aimed at solving all aspects of the conflict in one phase. Instead, in the words of the Co-Chairmen, their principles sought to achieve a major degree of progress, but deferred some very difficult issues to the future and envisioned further negotiations.
Nevertheless, the Co-Chairmen stated that since the two Presidents failed to agree, they had reached the limits of their creativity in the identification, formulation, and finalization of these principles. They made clear that if the two sides are unable to agree on those principles, which have been put forward, it is now contingent upon the parties themselves to work together to reach an alternative agreement that both find acceptable. The Co-Chairmen pointed out that they see no point right now in continuing intensive shuttle diplomacy and in initiating further presidential meetings.
In response to the statement of the Minsk Group Co-Chairmen and comments made on that by the Armenian side, which has traditionally attempted to distort the reality of the process of negotiations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan clarified, inter alia, that definition of the legal status of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan is impossible under the conditions of continuing occupation and ethnic cleansing and, accordingly, envisages liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, demilitarization of the whole conflict zone, provision of appropriate international security guarantees therein and the return of the forcibly displaced population of Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijani side once again reaffirmed its readiness to grant Nagorno-Karabakh the highest status of self-rule within the internationally-recognized territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan and based on its Constitution.
The Ministry also pointed out that with the aim of establishing inter-communal harmony, as well as creating objective conditions for defining the region’s status, and also taking into consideration the perspective of the region’s further development, Azerbaijan would be prepared to review, in conformity with the precedents existing in international practice, implementation of a complex of economic and other incentives for the population of Nagorno-Karabakh after the restoration of its ethnic composition as of the pre-conflict period.
Along with that, the Ministry reaffirmed Azerbaijan’s adherence to continuing talks to achieve lasting and fair peace in the region.
July 13 - the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group issued a statement in which they provided an assessment of the emerging situation in the settlement process for the conflict in light of the meeting between the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the President of the Republic of Armenia Robert Kocharian in St. Petersburg on 9 June 2007. The Co-Chairmen stated that during the meeting the Presidents concentrated their discussion on a limited number of obstacles that stand in the way of agreement on a set of “basic principles” for the peaceful settlement of the conflict. The Co- Chairmen in their statement took note of the initiative to organize a joint visit to Yerevan, Baku and Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan of a group of intellectuals from Azerbaijan and Armenia. The Co-Chairmen welcomed and highly appreciated that event, which they consider as a first concrete confidence-building measure.
November 2, - the Presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation signed a Declaration in Moscow. The Declaration states that “the settlement of the conflict should be based on the norms and principles of the international law and the decisions and documents approved within this framework”, which includes among others the UN Security Council Resolutions of 1993 as well as the UN General Assembly Resolutions of 2006 and 2008. It also declares that the settlement of the conflict based on the norms and principles of international law will create favorable conditions for economic growth and all-round cooperation in the region. Thus, the document brings to naught the speculations by Armenia on priority of regional cooperation before the final settlement of the conflict and elimination of its main consequences.
In 2009 the negotiations on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict became more intensive. Six meetings between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan and three meetings at the level of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs were held with the participation of the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group.
November 22, - During the meeting between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan held on in Munich, the sides achieved some progress in drawing their positions closer on several issues.
1-2 December - the framework of the 17th OSCE Ministerial Council held in Athens, the representatives of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair Countries - Foreign Ministers of Russia and France and the US Deputy Secretary of State made a joint statement. In addition, the OSCE Ministerial Council adopted a Statement on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. The aforementioned statements refer to basic principles envisaged in the Moscow Declaration and the Helsinki Final Act as important elements of the conflict settlement process.
20 april - President Ilham Aliyev received the U.S. Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Robert Bradtke. Exchange of ideas around the current state and prospects of peace talks to resolve the Armenian- Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh took place during the meeting. President Ilham Aliyev received also outgoing Russian Co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, Yuriy Merzlyakov. Yuriy Merzlyakov introduced the newly appointed Russian co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Igor Popov, to the President. The peace process of Armenian-Azerbaijani, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was discussed during the meeting.
17 june - President Ilham Aliyev received Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Ambassadors Robert Bradtke of the United States, Bernard Fassier of France and Igor Popov of Russia, as well as Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk at a special designated residence in Saint-Petersburg.
The meeting focused on the current state and prospects of the talks on settlement of the Armenia- Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
17 june - President Ilham Aliyev, President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan held a joint meeting at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Saint Petersburg.
In 2011, the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia held two meetings at the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation, H.E. D.Medvedev: on March 5, in Sochi and on June 24, in Kazan. The meetings were concluded without any result. The main reason of the failure was an obstinate and destructive stance of Armenia, which is still aiming to consolidate the current status quo and impose finally a fait accompli situation. Furthermore, on September 29, President Ilham Aliyev had a meeting in Warsaw with OSCE Minsk group co-chairs and the personal representative of current OSCE secretary-general.
In 2012, the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia held a meeting at the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation, D.Medvedev: on January 23, in Sochi. A joint statement was adopted which supported OSCE Minsk group co-chairs’ activity till the peaceful resolution of the conflict and stability is achieved in the region. Moreover, in the Chicago Summit Declaration (Article # 47), issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Chicago on 20 May 2012, territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty of Azerbaijan was supported and peaceful settlement of the conflict based upon these principles was urged.