Madrid Principles

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The Madrid Principles refer to one of the proposed peace settlements of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The original version of the principles was presented to the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) ministerial conference in the Spanish capital Madrid in November 2007.[1] They originated from a revised version of the peace settlement proposal unveiled by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries (France, Russia and the United States) in the early summer of 2006.[1] In 2009 at the urging of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen the Madrid Principles were updated.

Senior Armenian and Azerbaijani officials agreed on some of the proposed principles, but reportedly made little or no progress towards the deadline of the withdrawal of Armenian forces from occupied territories or towards the modalities of the decision on the future Nagorno-Karabakh status.[1]

The principles[edit]

The Madrid Principles are based on the provisions of Helsinki Final Act of 1975. On March 15, 2010 the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov revealed the most recent draft of the Madrid Principles, which envisages a phased, rather than a package settlement to the conflict. The first phase includes the withdrawal of Armenian military from the Agdam, Fizuli, Jabrayil, Zangilan and Qubadli Rayon, as well from thirteen villages in the Lachin Rayon.[2] Communications are supposed to be restored and a donors' conference aimed at raising funds for postconflict rehabilitation is envisaged.[2] The Madrid Principles also envision the demilitarization and demining of Armenian-controlled territories.

The second phase envisions the withdrawal of the remaining Armenian forces from Lachin and Kelbajar, followed by the return of the Azerbaijani population to Nagorno-Karabakh. The "peacekeeping observers" are supposed to be deployed, ensuring the security of Azerbaijani displaced persons returning to their abandoned homes.[2] A decision is then taken on the geopolitical status of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic within Azerbaijan, assuming that status should not violate Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.[2] Mammadyarov offered what he termed "a high level of autonomy" such as that enjoyed by Tatarstan within the Russian Federation.[2] He revealed that the revamped Madrid Principles are "largely acceptable" to Azerbaijan.[2] The Madrid Principles, however, faced an opposition in Armenia and Armenian diaspora in the West.[3] The principles faced some criticism in Azerbaijan as well: according to Vafa Guluzade, the Madrid Principles, if implemented in an agreement, can lead to "fragmentation" of Azerbaijan.[3]

Madrid principles also define an interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh providing guarantees for security and self-governance and future determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh through a legally binding public expression of will through a referendum.[citation needed]

See also[edit]