Co-Chairs Will Update Madrid Principles in Late Fall

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YEREVAN (Armenpress)—The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen said that an updated version of the so-called Madrid Principles will be provided to the negotiating sides during their visit to the region in the fall, reported the Armenian Foreign Ministry Monday.

Tigran Balayan, a spokesman for the foreign ministry said that Armenia has not received any documents adding that the co-chairs had indicated that the updates would be ready in late September or early October.

The OSCE Co-Chairmen Yuri Merzlyakov (Russia), Bernard Fassier (France) and Matthew Bryza (US) met in Krakow, Poland in late July to discuss ways of pushing the Karabakh peace further forward following fresh talks held by the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in Moscow on July 17-18.

In a joint statement issued ahead of those talks, the presidents of the three mediating powers said they have instructed the co-chairs to present the conflicting parties with an “updated version” of their basic principles of a Karabakh settlement that were formally put forward in Madrid in November 2007.

“As directed by our three presidents in their joint declaration of July 10, 2009, we prepared an updated version of the Madrid Document,” said Bryza, commenting on the Krakow meeting. He described the meeting as “productive and creative.”

“We now have a chance to finalize the Basic Principles,” said Bryza. He praised Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s leaders for being “constructive” and making “significant progress” in the long-running peace talks.

Last week Bryza said only that he and fellow co-chairs Yuri Merzlyakov and Bernard Fassier “carefully considered the views expressed by the sides since we presented the Madrid Document in November 2007.”

The Madrid principles call for a withdrawal of liberated territories surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. They also envision a future referendum of self-determination in Karabakh.

Bryza is scheduled to visit the region sometime this month, while Fassier will travel there in September ahead of the visit of all three co-chairmen in late September.

While in Krakow, Merzlyakov indicated that the US and Russia would be changing their co-chairmen on the Minks Group as the Karabakh peace negotiations move forward.

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