PARIS/MOSCOW/WASHINGTON, 19 February 2009 - The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassadors Bernard Fassier of France, Yury Merzlyakov of Russia, and Matthew Bryza of the United States, released the following statement today:
"The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group stress that, despite two reports circulated at the request of the Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the United Nations on December 24 and 29, 2008, there is no military solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Co-Chairs further underscore the non-use of force as a core element of any just and lasting settlement of the conflict.
Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serge Sargsyan described their most recent meeting, in Zurich on January 28, 2009, as useful and constructive, despite two Azerbaijani reports circulated in the United Nations General Assembly one month earlier. At the conclusion of their Zurich meeting, the Presidents reiterated their commitment to the Minsk Group peace process, and asked the Co-Chairs to intensify their efforts to help the parties bridge their remaining differences with regard to the Basic Principles.
In subsequent public statements, both Presidents underscored their enduring commitment to the Minsk Group's mediation effort. Therefore, the Minsk Group's Co-Chairs will visit the region before the end of February to help the parties to accelerate their efforts to finalize the Basic Principles.
The Minsk Group Co-Chairs will not allow the peace process to be subverted by legalistic or historical discussions, though they will remain sensitive to historical concerns expressed by the parties to the conflict, all of which must be addressed in due course. The Co-Chairs further believe the above-mentioned reports should have no bearing on negotiations within the Minsk Group in pursuit of a peaceful and political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, to which both Presidents committed themselves in their Moscow Declaration of November 2, 2009."