CSI and its strategic partner, HART, have urged the United States, Russia and France – the co-chairs of the Minsk Group of the OSCE – to take urgent action to de-escalate the crisis in Nagorno Karabakh.
John Eibner (left) and Caroline Cox. csi
John Eibner, International President of CSI, and Baroness Cox, Founder President of HART, have urged the United States, the Russian Federation and France – the co-chairs of the Minsk Group of the OSCE – to take urgent action to de-escalate the crisis in Nagorno Karabakh.
The Minsk Group was set up by the OSCE in 1992 to encourage a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno Karabakh in the South Caucasus.
The agreed Madrid Principles, on which this process is based, are: The Non-Use of Force or Threat of Force, Territorial integrity and the Equal Rights and Self-Determination of Peoples, as found in the Helsinki Final Act of 1975.
In letters to Antony Blinken, Catherine Colonna and Sergei Lavrov – the foreign ministers of the U.S., France and Russia – CSI and HART point to the urgent need for action given acts of aggression by Azerbaijan that include an illegal blockade of the Lachin corridor and military incursions into Armenia.
“As we write, Azerbaijan’s aggression against the people of Nagorno Karabakh and the Republic of Armenia intensifies.The ethnic/religious cleansing of 120,00 Armenian Christians of Nagorno Karabakh becomes increasingly likely.”
Eibner and Cox claim the Minsk Group co-chair countries have failed to fulfill their mandate since Azerbaijan again resorted to war against Nagorno Karabakh in September 2020. They say the process that the co-chairs had been commissioned to lead has been wound down and is now at a virtual standstill to the detriment of global security. “Brute force now prevails over solutions based on the Helsinki Final Act not only in Ukraine, but also in Nagorno Karabakh and the Republic of Armenia,” they write.
The letters conclude by urging the co-chairs to reinvigorate the peace process by calling for “an emergency de-escalation meeting of the Minsk Group”, and to “reaffirm a commitment to search collectively for a political solution to the existential crisis now facing Nagorno Karabakh and the Republic of Armenia based on the Madrid Principles, including the Right to Self-Determination for the endangered people of Nagorno Karabakh”.
The action by CSI and HART comes one day after a U.S. Congressional Human Rights Commission hearing on safeguarding the people of Nagorno Karabakh. CSI, HART and other members of the Save Karabakh coalition had on February 23 appealed for such a hearing.