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December 4, 2008


The 16th annual meeting of the OSCE Council of Foreign Ministers 
Joint Statement by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries
Helsinki, December 4, 2008

We, Ministers and deputy ministers of Foreign Affairs of co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group, France, Russia and the United States, appealing to the parties of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and stating that on the basis of the positive momentum arisen at meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Moscow on November 2, 2008, to settle the disagreements on the settlement of conflict. Moscow Declaration signed the same day opens a new and important stage towards our common efforts to achieve peace in the South Caucasus. In that Declaration the Presidents expressed their commitment to continue constructive negotiations on the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basic principles submitted by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to parties in Madrid last year. We appeal to the parties that they continue work to complete the work on the basic principles together with co-chairing countries in the next few months, and then to start negotiations on a final peace agreement continue in accordance with the principles set forth in those principles. We appeal to the parties in accordance with the Moscow Declaration, they have to continue the work with co-chairs for confidence building measures, and as suggested by of our co-chairs to the parties during their visit to the region in mid-November to withdraw innocent civilians and the soldiers, snipers from Line of Contact. In addition, to support the efforts of the co-chairs of the OSCE and Special Representative of the Chairman in connection with strengthening of the ceasefire regime. We repeatedly state our stand that there is no military solution to the conflict and appeal to the parties to return to peace talks. 

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