Armenia’s Aggression against Azerbaijan
Armenia’s Aggression against Azerbaijan
Conflict Settlement Process (1991-2020)

In order to realize its unlawful and groundless territorial claims, at the end of 1991 and the beginning of 1992, Armenia unleashed full-scale war against Azerbaijan. As a result, a significant part of the territory of Azerbaijan was occupied by Armenia.

 

The war claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people and ruined cities, towns and villages; all captured areas were ethnically cleansed of more than 700,000 Azerbaijanis. Likewise, about 250,000 Azerbaijanis, being a last part of the Azerbaijani population of once half a million who had remained in Armenia, were also brutally expelled from their ancestral lands at the end of 1980s.

 

The international mediation efforts to settle the conflict started yet in 1991 with the Zheleznovodsk initiative. Following joining of Azerbaijan and Armenia the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1992, the OSCE engaged in efforts to achieve a settlement of the conflict under the aegis of its Minsk Group compound of the member states of the Minsk Conference. At the Additional Meeting of the CSCE Council of Ministers, held in Helsinki on 24 March 1992, a decision to convene as soon as possible a conference in Minsk under the auspices of CSCE to provide an ongoing forum for negotiations towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict on the basis of the principles, commitments and provisions of CSCE was adopted.

 

The legal and political constituents for the settlement of the conflict have been laid down in the norms and principles of international law, in particular those pertaining to respect to sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of international borders of states as well as Security Council resolutions 822 (1993), 853 (1993), 874 (1993) and 884 (1993) and appropriate documents and decisions of OSCE and other international organizations. The above-mentioned Security Council resolutions were adopted in 1993 in response to the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan and reaffirmed respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the international borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The resolutions demanded immediate cessation of all hostile acts, and immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of occupying forces from all occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan. They qualified Armenia’s actions as the unlawful use of force, in contravention of the Charter of the United Nations and international law.

 

The resolutions also formed the basis of the mandate of the Minsk Group of the OSCE and its Co-chairmen and provided the framework for the settlement of the conflict. Thus, in their decision adopted at the Budapest Summit, held on 5–6 December 1994, the OSCE participating States, including both Armenia and Azerbaijan, inter alia, “confirmed their commitment to the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and welcomed the political support given by the Security Council to the CSCE’s efforts towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict”.

 

However, Security Council key demands, including in the first place the withdrawal of the occupying forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, had not been implemented by Armenia.

 

Deliberately disregarding the resolutions of the Security Council, Armenia has never engaged faithfully in negotiations and, instead, directed all its efforts at colonizing the seized territories under the cover of ceasefire and peace process, including by means of implanting settlers from Armenia and abroad, destructing and appropriating historical and cultural heritage and exploiting natural resources and other wealth in those territories.

 

The lack of adequate reaction from relevant international institutions to provocations, aggressive actions and unlawful activities by Armenia contributed to its sense of permissiveness and encouraged this state to continue sticking to its guns.

 

In April 2016 and July 2020, Armenia undertook offensives against Azerbaijan that have caused numerous casualties among Azerbaijani civilians and servicemen and the severe destruction of the civilian infrastructure, private and public property.

 

Another offensive by Armenia on 27 September 2020 has become a logical consequence of the impunity it has enjoyed for more than thirty years. That day, the armed forces of Azerbaijan along the frontline and the adjacent populated areas in the country were subjected to intensive fire, with the use of large-calibre weapons, artillery and mortars, resulting in deaths and injuries among civilians and the military. Extensive damage was inflicted upon the civilian property and infrastructure in the area. The combat actions that followed have lasted for 44 days.

 

In order to repel military aggression by Armenia and ensure the security of civilians and densely populated residential areas deep inside the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan undertook counter-offensive measures within the right of self-defence.

 

Azerbaijan acted on its sovereign soil and took adequate and proportionate measures necessary to repulse the imminent threat to its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and security of its civilian population. As a result of the counter-offensive operation, the Fuzuli, Gubadly, Jabrayil and Zangilan districts, the city of Shusha and more than 300 cities, towns and villages of Azerbaijan were de-occupied and Armenia was enforced to peace.

 

The statement of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and the President of the Russian Federation, signed on 10 November 2020, has put an end to the almost three-decades-old armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The implementation of this agreement ensured the cessation of all military activities and the de-occupation of the Aghdam, Kalbajar and Lachyn districts of Azerbaijan.

 

The end of aggression and occupation has become a triumph of justice and international law. On 11 January 2021, H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, stated the following: “The situation that evolved between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the years has been finally resolved. I am sure that there will be no attempts by the Armenian side to revise the Statement of 10 November, so that both peoples find the will and wisdom to think about the future and about reconciliation”

 

Below is the non-exhaustive chronology of the meetings related to the conflict settlement process within the OSCE Minsk Group led by its Co-chairs.

 

1991

September 23 – Meeting of Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Zheleznovodsk (Russia) mediated by the Russian and Kazakhstan Presidents. An agreement was reached to settle the conflict in a peaceful way.

 

1992

On February 28, 1992, during the 7th meeting of the CSCE Committee of Senior Officials in Prague, the parties were called on to establish a cease-fire without delay, respect the inviolability of all borders, whether internal or external, which can only be changed by peaceful means and by common agreement, and refraining from all territorial claims, including abstaining from all hostile propaganda.

 

On March 24, 1992, during the first additional meeting of the CSCE Council of Foreign Ministers in Helsinki, a decision was adopted to convene a conference in Minsk on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict to provide an ongoing forum for negotiations on the basis of the principles, commitments and provisions of the CSCE.

 

1993

On April 30, July 29, October 14 and November 12 of 1993, respectively, the UN Security Council adopted resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884. These resolutions reaffirmed respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the international borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan and demanded the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of occupying forces from all occupied regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and called for ensuring the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes. 

 

1994

On May 12 1994, a ceasefire agreement was reached.

 

On 5-6 December 1994, during the CSCE Budapest Summit, the Heads of State and Government of the CSCE participating States set up a Co-Chairmanship institute of the Minsk Conference for the coordination of all mediation efforts within the CSCE framework. The Budapest Summit tasked the CSCE Chairman-in-Office to conduct negotiations aimed at the conclusion of political agreement on the cessation of the armed conflict, the implementation of which will remove the consequences of the conflict and will allow for the convening of the Minsk Conference. The Summit also adopted a decision on the deployment of CSCE multinational peacekeeping forces once an agreement is reached between the Parties on the cessation of the armed conflict, as well as the established a High Level Planning Group (HLPG) in Vienna to prepare for the peacekeeping operation. The HLPG succeeded an earlier Initial Operation Planning Group (IOPG), which was established in May 1993.

 

1995

On March 23 1995, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office issued a mandate for the Co-Chairmen of the Minsk Process.

 

1996

On December 2-3 1996, at the OSCE Lisbon Summit, the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group and the OSCE Chairman-in-Office recommended the principles which should be the basis for the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict:

 

Out of 54 OSCE participating States, Armenia was the only country that did not support the Lisbon principles.

                                                                       

On January 1, 1997, a triple Co-Chairmanship institute of Russia, France and the USA, was established. The Chairmen countries of the Minsk Conference were Italy in 1992-1993, Sweden in 1994-1995 and Russia and Finland in 1995-1996.

 

1997

On June 1 1997, the Co-Chairmen presented a draft comprehensive agreement on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Despite Azerbaijan’s readiness to start constructive consultations on the basis of this document, the Armenian side rejected this approach. 

 

In September 1997, the Co-Chairmen presented new proposals based on a “stage-by-stage” approach to the settlement.

 

On October 10 1997, in a joint statement in Strasbourg, the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia stated that “the recent proposals of the Co-Chairmen were a hopeful basis for the resumption of negotiations within the framework of the Minsk Group”. However, after the  Armenian president Levon Ter-Petrossian had been forced to resign in February 1998 and  Robert Kocharian had took the power in March 1998, Armenia officially withdrew its consent for the “stage-by-stage” proposal on conflict settlement.

 

1998

On November 9 1998, the Co-Chairmen put forward proposal based on the concept of a “common State”. Azerbaijan rejected the proposal since it violated its sovereignty and contradicted the Lisbon principles.  

 

1999-2001

During 1999-2001, the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia met more than 20 times but these meetings did not yield any results.

 

2002

In March 2002, during their visit to the region, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen proposed to conduct negotiations at the level of special representatives of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia. The proposal was accepted by the Heads of both states.

 

On March 13-15 and July 29-30 2002, the special representatives of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan held two meetings near the city of Prague.  

 

2004

In 2004, direct talks between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan started within the so-called “Prague Process”.

 

2005

On January 25, 2005 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted resolution 1416 titled “The conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Conference”. The Parliamentary Assembly affirmed the occupation of a considerable part of the territory of Azerbaijan and expressed its concern for the fact that military action, and ethnic hostilities which preceded it, led to large-scale ethnic expulsion and the creation of mono-ethnic areas which resemble the terrible concept of ethnic cleansing. The Assembly made it clear that the occupation of foreign territory by a member State constitutes a grave violation of that State’s obligations as a member of the Council of Europe and reaffirmed the right of displaced persons from the area of conflict to return to their homes safely and in dignity. The Assembly also recalled the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and urged the parties concerned to comply with them, in particular by withdrawing military forces from all occupied territories. 

 

From January 30 through February 5, 2005, the Mission of the OSCE Minsk Group visited the occupied territories with a fact-finding purpose. This was done at the initiative of the Republic of Azerbaijan and within the framework of review of the item "The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan" on the agenda of the 59th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

 

The Minsk Group mission revealed the process of the transfer of population in the occupied territories and confirmed Azerbaijan's concerns on this matter. Following its visit, the Mission prepared a report on the basis of broad factual information, which was provided by the Azerbaijani side and collected by the Mission on the ground.

 

The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group concluded that changes in demographic structure of the occupied territories must be avoided, since “it makes more difficult any future efforts to achieve a negotiated settlement. The co-chairs emphasized in this regard that “the longer [settlers] remain in the occupied territories, the deeper their roots and attachments to their present places of residence will become” and “prolonged continuation of this situation could lead to a fait accompli that would seriously complicate the peace process”.

 

2006

In May 2006, Deputy Foreign Ministers of the Co-Chair countries travelled to the region. As its result, on June 22, 2006, the Co-Chairmen submitted a report to the OSCE Permanent Council, recommending that negotiations be continued not on the basis of solving all aspects of the conflict at once but on instead achieving progress on matters that were easier to agree on and on leaving difficult issues for further negotiations.

 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan in his statement on the conflict settlement particularly noted the importance of liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, demilitarization of the whole conflict zone and the return of the forcibly displaced Azerbaijani population to their places of origin. 

 

2007

On June 9, 2007, the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia met in St. Petersburg on the margins of the meeting of Heads of the Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Overall, in 2003-2007 nine meetings were held between the President of Azerbaijan and Armenia.

 

On July 13, 2007, the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group issued a statement in which they, inter alia, welcomed and commended an initiative to organize a joint visit of a group of intellectuals from Azerbaijan and Armenia to Yerevan, Baku and conflict affected regions of Azerbaijan as the first concrete confidence-building measure. These visits, however, discontinued due to Armenia’s destructive position.

 

2008

On November 2, 2008, the Presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation signed the Moscow Declaration. The Declaration stated that the settlement of the conflict should be based on the norms and principles of international law and the decisions and documents approved within this framework, which included among others the UN Security Council Resolutions of 1993 as well as the UN General Assembly Resolutions of 2006 and 2008. It also declared 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.

 

2009

In 2009, negotiations on the settlement of Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict intensified. 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.  

 

In July 2009, the Presidents of the Co-chair countries issued a joint statement at the L'Aquila Summit of the Eight. It was pointed out in the statement that the leaders of the Co-chairs countries instructed the mediators to present to the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan an updated version of the Madrid Document of November 2007, the Co-Chairs last articulation of the Basic Principles.

 

On December 1-2, 2009, in the framework of the 17th OSCE Ministerial Council held in Athens, representatives from the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair Countries – Foreign Ministers of Russia and France and the US Deputy Secretary of State made a joint statement and the OSCE Ministerial Council adopted a Statement on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. These statements referred to the basic principles outlined in the Moscow Declaration and the Helsinki Final Act as important elements of the conflict settlement process.  

 

2010

In 2010, the negotiations on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict continued. These negotiations were based on the updated Madrid principles presented by the Minsk Group Co-chairmen in December 2009.  

 

In 2010, three meetings were held between the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the President of the Republic of Armenia - on 25 June in Sochi and 17 June in Saint Petersburg and on 27 October in Astrakhan, with mediation of Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. Following the meetings, the sides adopted a joint statement on returning hostages and prisoners of war, as well as people deceased as a result of ceasefire violations. Following these negotiations, Armenia returned the corpses of Mubariz Ibrahimov, National Hero of Azerbaijan and another Azerbaijani military serviceman Farid Ahmadov which make it possible to bury them. 

 

In 2010, five meetings were held between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan: on July 17 in Almaty, on November 6 in Moscow, on November 19 in Lisbon, on November 22 and December 22 in Moscow.

 

On June 26, 2010, the Heads of OSCE Minsk Group Co-chair states issued a statement in Muskoka, Canada, The Heads of State mentioned the importance of a step-by-step resolution model which, among others, envisaged liberation of the occupied territories and displaced population to their home lands. 

 

On October 7-12 2010, upon request of Azerbaijan, concerned about continued illegal activities perpetrated by Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, including the illegal settlement practices and, economic exploitation and devastation of these territories, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs conducted a Field Assessment Mission (FAM) to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, with the aim to assess the overall situation there. The FAM revealed once again the continued policy of illegal settlement of ethnic Armenians in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan as well as infrastructure changes and illegal economic activities conducted in these territories. The report of the FAM stated that the status quo in the occupied territories was unacceptable and that all illegal practices in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan must be put to an end. 

 

On December 1-2, 2010, following the meeting on the margins of the OSCE Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan the Heads of Delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries and the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia issued a joint statement in which they reaffirmed the importance of resolving the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict on the basis of  the principles and norms of international law; the United Nations Charter; the Helsinki Final Act; as well as the statements of Presidents of the Co-Chair Countries at L'Aquila on July 10, 2009, and at Muskoka on June 26, 2010.

 

2011

In 2011, the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan held two meetings at the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation, D.Medvedev, namely on March 5 in Sochi and on June 24 in Kazan. The meetings yielded no results due to the non-constructive position of Armenia to maintain the status quo and to impose 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 the OSCE Secretary-General. 

 

2012

On January 23, 2012, the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan held a meeting in Sochi at the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation, D.Medvedev. The joint statement stressed the importance of starting the work over the Final Peace Agreement and to this end highlighted the readiness of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia to speed up the agreement over the basic principles.

 

On July 14, 2012, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan held a meeting with the OSCE Chairman-in-Office. At the meeting, they discussed Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. The Minister stressed that the peace process can only progress after the withdrawal of the armed forces of Armenia from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

 

On September 27, 2012, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan met with the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group on the margings of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly. At the meeting, it was stressed that armed forces of the Republic of Armenia had not withdrew its armed forces from the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan and there was standstill in the negotiation process as a result of the attempts of Armenia to extend the status quo. The Azerbaijani side stated that Armenia resorted to all excuses to preserve the status quo. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group reaffirming the statements made by the Presidents of their respective countries stressed that the current status quo was unacceptable. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan once again brought to the Co-Chairs’ attention the fact that the peace, security and stability in the region would be in peril as long as the armed forces of Armenia stayed in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

 

On October 27, 2012, a meeting was held in Paris between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and Armenia. The meeting was attended by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. At the meeting, they expressed their concern over the situation with regard to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Besides, discussions were held regarding the necessity to change the current status quo and ways out of the deadlock in the conflict settlement process.

 

2013

On March 4, 2013, Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan held a meeting with the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. During the meeting, the Co-Chairs once again emphasized the unacceptability of the status quo in the region. Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan assessing a non-constructive stance of Armenia as an impediment for the settlement of the conflict highlighted once again the necessity of the withdrawal of the armed forces of Armenia from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan to advance the peace process and establish peace and stability in all over the region.

 

On May 17, 2013, the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group held a meeting with the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Krakow, Poland. The Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office also attended the meeting. Possible ways to move the negotiation process forward were discussed at the meeting. The Co-Chairs reiterated the indispensability to refrain from calls and steps that could harm the peace process and aggravate the tension, as well as discussed with the Foreign Ministers possible measures to establish a favourable condition for peace.

 

On 19 November, 2013, the President of Azerbaijan met with the President of Armenia in Vienna. The Personal Representatives of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office also attended the meeting. The Presidents discussed a wide range of issues related to the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict in a one-on-one meeting and in a broad format with the participation of the co-chairs and ministers. The Presidents agreed to boost future talks aimed at achieving a peaceful settlement of the conflict, as well as instructed the foreign ministers to continue their work together with the Co-chairs on the basis of what was previously done.  

 

On December 4, 2013, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan met with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office on the sidelines of the 21st meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council. During the meeting, the discussions were held over the negotiation process on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, as well as over the plans and proposals of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs in this direction for the upcoming year. The Azerbaijani side reiterated its position that the armed forces of Armenia must be withdrawn from the occupied Azerbaijani territories.

 

2014

In 2014, the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan held three meetings. The first meeting took place with the mediation of President of the Russian Federation in Sochi on August 10, the second with the mediation of the US State Secretary in Newport, Wales, on September 4, and the third meeting was held with the mediation of the President of France in Paris on October 27.

 

However, the Armenian side against the background of the intensified negotiation process choosed again to resort to provocations. It conducted a large-scale military training in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. The military provocation carried out by Armenian air forces against positions of armed forces of Azerbaijan on the Line of Contact resulted in the shoot-down of one of the Armenia’s helicopters.

 

On July 22, 2014, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan met with the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group in Brussels on the sidelines of the Eastern Partnership Ministerial meeting. At the meeting, they discussed ways to speed up the settlement process.

 

2015

On January 23, 2015, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan  met with the French Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group. The sides discussed the negotiation process on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, as well as regional security issues.

 

On January 27, 2015, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan met with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office in Krakow.

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan pointed out that the continuation of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict was the main obstacle to the establishment of lasting peace and stability in the region and highlighted the importance of the withdrawal of the  armed forces of Armenia from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. The Foreign Minister stressed that the OSCE Minsk Group had to make active efforts in the conflict settlement process taking into account the non-constructive position of the Armenian political leadership in the negotiation process.

 

On February 16, 2015, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan met with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs in Azerbaijan. They exchanged their views over the negotiations on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Speaking of the ceasefire violations, the Minister emphasized that the Co-chairs should demand from Armenia to withdraw its armed forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories in accordance with the international law and the UN Security Council resolutions 822 (1993), 853 (1993), 874 (1994) and 884 (1993).

 

On June 1, 2015, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan met with OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dačić. During the meeting, the Minister said that the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict can only be resolved on the basis of the norms and principles of international law, in particular respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders, and the four UN Security Council resolutions.

 

On September 25, 2015, the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister met with the Armenian Foreign Minister on the sidelines of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly. The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office also were present at the meeting. The Azerbaijani side once again emphasized Azerbaijan’s aforementioned position on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.

 

2016

On March 17, 2016, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the the Republic of Azerbaijan received a delegation headed by Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the Southern Caucasus. Speaking about the ongoing negotiations on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, the Azerbaijani Minister stressed that Armenia through its provocative actions aims to undermine the negotiation process and maintain the existing status quo thatwas based on occupation and aggression with the ultimate goal to eventually annex the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.The Co-chairs was informed that by intentionally bringing into the agenda technical issues such as the investigation of incidents, Armenia attempts to divert attention from the conflict resolution.

 

The Minister brought to the attention of the Co-chair the necessary conditions for the settlement of the conflict:  as it was stipulated by the UN Security Council resolutionsArmenia must put an end to its armed aggression against Azerbaijan and withdraw its armed forces from all the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders must be restored.

 

On September 22, 2016, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan met with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs on the sidelines of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly. Discussions were held on the issue of intensification of the negotiations. The Azerbaijani side said that Armenia aims to torpedo the negotiation process with its latest provocative actions and by carrying out military exercises in the occupied Aghdam region of Azerbaijan.

 

2017

On June 19, 2017, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan met with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs and Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. At the meeting, it was emphasized that substantive negotiations are necessary to change the unacceptable and unsustainable status-quo. The Minister drew attention to provocations conducted by Armenia on the Line of Contact, and noted that through these provocations and deliberate escalation, Armenia was undermining the conflict resolution process. The Azerbaijani side touched upon the illegal economic and other activities by Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, destruction of cultural heritage and organization of illegal flights in these territories. The Minister added that the illegal activities of Armenia in the occupied territories were a serious obstacle for the conflict settlement.

 

On September 23, 2017, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan met with the OSCE Secretary General on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly.

 

The Azerbaijani Minister briefed the OSCE Secretary General on the latest situation on the negotiation process to settle the conflict. Stating that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs and all international community accepted the fact that the existing status quo was unacceptable and unsustainable, the Minister stressed that armed forces of Armenia must be withdrawn from all occupied Azerbaijani territories to achieve progress in resolving the conflict. The Minister underlined that attempts to alter the internationally recognized borders of states by use of force was unacceptable. Furthermore, the Minister reiterated that the conflict must be resolved based on the sovereighnty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the internationally recognized borders of the states in accordance with the norms and principles of international law, as well as four UN Security Council resolutions.

 

The Foreign Minister also held a meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on the sidelines of the session of the UN General Assembly.

 

On September 25, 2017, the Foreign Minister met with his Armenian counterpart within the framework of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly together with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office.

 

2018

On July 11, 2018, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and Armenia met in Brussels through the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs. During the meeting, the negotiation process on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict was discussed.

 

On September 28, 2018, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had a conversation on the sidelines of the CIS Summit in Dushanbe. They affirmed their commitment to the negotiation process regarding the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and the strengthening of the ceasefire regime to prevent incidents on the Line of Contact and Armenia-Azerbaijan border.

 

On December 5, 2018, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan met with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs and the acting Foreign Minister of Armenia in Milan.

 

2019

On January 16, 2019 Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan met with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs and the acting Foreign Minister of Armenia in Paris.

 

On January 22, 2019, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held an informal meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia discussed the state of negotiations on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.

 

On March 29, 2019, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a meeting in Vienna to discuss the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. The meeting was first held one-on-one, then later with the partcipation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs.

 

On April 15, 2019, at the initiative of the Russian side, a working meeting was held in Moscow between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and Armenia, with the participation of the Russian Foreign Minister. The meeting was also attended by OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs. The Ministers dicussed the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, specifically in regards to continuing the negotiation process, reducing tensions in the conflict zone, as well as possible cooperation in the humanitarian field and taking steps to establish people-to-people contacts  and reciprocal visits by media representatives. 

 

On June 20, 2019, a meeting was held in Washington between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and Armenia. The meeting was also attended by OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs. The Ministers dicussed the implementation of agreements reached during their previous meetings in Paris and Moscow.

 

On September 23, 2019, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and Armenia met with the participation of Minsk Group Co-chairs in New York.

 

On December 5, 2019, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and Armenia held a meeting on the sidelines of the OSCE Ministerial meeting in Bratislava with the mediation of Minsk Group Co-chairs. The sides discussed the current situation in the conflict settlement process and possible ways forward.

 

2020

On 28-30 January, 2020, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and Armenia met with the participation of Minsk Group Co-chairs in Geneva. The sides held discussions over the agenda items presented by the Co-Chairs. This included firstly, issues relating to the implementation of agreements and proposals discussed in 2019, particularly the humanitarian exchanges for preparation of the populations of both countries for peace; second, the basic principles and elements of the settlement process, in particular, the settlement of the conflict based on the provisions and principles of the Helsinki Final Act, and lastly, ways of further intensification of the settlement process.

 

On May 18, 2020 the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan held an online meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs. At the meeting, the sides discussed the current situation of the Armenia-Azerbaijan settlement process and the steps to be taken during the upcoming months, in the post-pandemic period.

 

On June 30, 2020, Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia took part in an online meeting with the participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs. During the meeting, the sides discussed the situation of the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. The Azerbaijani side once again raised the issue of the illegal activities by Armenia, including the infrastructural changes in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. The Co-chairs noted the increase of aggressive rhetoric. The Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan highlighted that provocative actions by Armenia lead to an escalation of rhetoric.

 

On September 24, 2020, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in his speech delivered at the General Debates of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly in a video format, among others, stated that illegal presence of the armed forces of Armenia in the occupied lands of Azerbaijan remained a major threat to regional peace and security. Speaking about Armenia’s continued attempts to derail the peace process, the President of Azerbaijan drew attention of the UN Member States to this country’s hostile, Azerbaijanohobic statements and numerous provocations along the Line of Contact and Armenia-Azerbaijan border.

 

Expressing its regret that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chair’s activity had not yet delivered any results, the President of Azerbaijan stated the following: “Negotiations must not be conducted just for the sake of negotiations, they must be target-oriented and meaningful. Presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chair countries – France, Russia, United States in their statements stressed that the status-quo is unacceptable. We welcome these statements, but statements are not enough. We need actions. Our involvement in the negotiation process for almost 30 years is a clear demonstration of our commitment to peace. All 11 members of Minsk Group should be actively involved in the process”.

 

On October 8, 2020, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov held a meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs in Geneva, discussing the situation on the ground pertaining to the full scale war that broke out on September 27, 2020 as a result of Armenia’s offensive against Azerbaijan. The Minister informed the Co-Chairs about the position of Azerbaijan regarding the settlement of the conflict.

 

On October 9-10, 2020 after a trilateral meeting in Moscow, the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Russian Federation issued a joint statement, agreeing to a ceasefire to take effect on October 10, 2020 for humanitarian purposes, in order to exchange prisoners of war, other detainees and corpses.

 

On October 17, 2020, the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia agreed to a humanitarian truce as of October 18th. The decision was taken following the statement of the Presidents of the French Republic, the Russian Federation and the United States of America, representing the Co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group of 1 October 2020, the Statement by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group of 5 October, and in line with Moscow Statement of October 10, 2020.

 

On October 23, 2020, as part of his visit to Washington, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Jeyhun Bayramov held a meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs. During the meeting, Minister Jeyhun Bayramov noted that the Armenian side twice violated the humanitarian ceasefire, continuously and purposefully fired on the Azerbaijani civilian population and fired rockets at cities and settlements outside the conflict zone. The Minister brought to the attention of the Co-chairs the statement of the Armenian leadership dismissing any diplomatic solution to the conflict. It was stressed that all these steps and statements once again clearly demonstrated the destructive policy of the Armenian side.

 

On October 24, 2020, following a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia agreed to a humanitarian truce as of October 26th in line with the Moscow Statement of October 10, 2020.

 

On October 30, 2020, the Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov met with the Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group in Geneva. Informing the other side about the position of Azerbaijan, the Minister brought into attention the destructive actions of Armenia, the targeting of civilians and residential areas, the use of prohibited weapons against the civilian population, and the war crimes that had been committed.


The meeting was followed by a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with the Minsk Group Co-chairs. During the meeting, Minister Jeyhun Bayramov presented Azerbaijan's position on resolving the conflict on the basis of norms and principles of international law, as well as UN Security Council resolutions and decisions and documents of international organizations. Speaking about humanitarian measures, Minister Jeyhun Bayramov stressed the constructive approach of Azerbaijan. In this regard, he noted that Azerbaijan unilaterally transferred the bodies, as well as an elderly Armenian woman to the Armenian side. Minister Jeyhun Bayramov also stressed that it was unacceptable for Armenia to deliberately fire on civilians and residential areas in gross violation of international humanitarian law.

 

On November 10, 2020, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, signed the Trilateral Statement[1]. The statement has put an end to the almost three-decades-old armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

 

 

 

[1] For the text of the Trilateral Statement, please, visit the relevant section of the web page.

 



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