Meetings About Nagorno Karabakh Problem in 2009

 Nagorno Karabakh problem was discussed by free sides and OSCE Minsk Group initiatives in 2009. It could be effected by external political issues that key actor Armenia wasn’t in. If we classify generally, protocol acts of Turkey and meetings of Minsk Group declared this problem again to solve with common consensus. But we can see that activities of Minsk Group weren’t different from circumstances of last years because group took radical decisions which are about to solve problem with main arguments.

First impact was about Turkish-Armenian close relations in April. It effected Nagorno Karabakh discussions in international arena and commonly Azerbaijan disagreed this new relationship between Armenia and Turkey. Relations of Turkey and Azerbaijan had been stretched because of last news. Turkish side declared for many times an issue that if Armenia wants to be close Turkey, they should leave Nagorno Karabakh and other local zones of Azerbaijan.[1] Also Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Baku and he declared again it in assembly of Azerbaijan. But Armenian leader Serzh Sargsyan wanted to share this event without Karabakh conflict if Turkey wants to be together with Armenia : “Relations between Armenia and Turkey are a separate issue, discussed during bilateral talks, while negotiations on the Nagorny Karabakh are a different topic for discussions”[2]
In May 2009, presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia met in Prague with mediatorship of Minsk Group. Co-chairman Matthew Bryza said that two sides talked positively and they agreed basic points which are about solving process. But after Azerbaijan declared that Armenia wasn’t affirmative at their meeting and they have no any idea about positive future. Also another important meeting was in July. Presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia met in Moscow and they discussed last circumstances which based aims that created on 2007, like Madrid principles. There was no any practical decision in speeches of leaders after the meeting but Russian representator Yuri Merjlikin and two co-chairmen of Minsk Group Mathew Bryza ve Bernard Fassier talked about new visits on August and September to the region and possible convention again of two states in October.[3] At the same time Turkey and Armenia prepared protocols to improve relationship among each other two months later, but there was no any information about Nagorno Karabakh conflict. We should look at the old basic steps which are referred by new meetings. Co-chairmen and Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandyan defended updated version of Madrid Principles before and after the meetings. What did contain Madrid principles? These principles are task about to solve Nagorno Karabakh conflict with some steps which had been agreed by Azerbaijan and Armenia with initiatives of Minsk Group in 2007. According to this :
-Armenia shall leave local zones which are around Nagorno Karabakh territory,
- Corridor which provides a connection between Karabakh and Armenia shall be opened,
- All immigrants shall back to their lands,
- There will be an international guarantee which shall provide regional security,
- Armenians who live in Karabakh shall keep determination rights,
- States shall provide initiatives to implement legal status of the territory.[4]
In October, protocols were signed but Armenia didn’t abandon its same demand about Karabakh. Deputies of Azerbaijan and Armenia met in Russian assembly Duma in last days of October. This meeting had a meaning a support positions to new process among leader to solve territorial problem which is expected by Azerbaijan.
In November, co-chairmen of group met in Yerevan to discuss Karabakh problem with Armenian leader Serzh Sargsyan and Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandyan to create a new meeting in next step with leader of Azerbaijan, İlham Aliyev.[5] Serzh Sargsyan’s spokesman Samuel Farmanyan gave a speech to inform Azerbaijani side to end their claims on Karabakh that if they doesn’t abandon, they will recognize Karabakh as an independent state.[6]
Co-chairmen met in Baku as last activity of 2009. But it can not be called as an effective because nobody informed media what they did and spoke about the problem. Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Memmedyarov and President İlham Aliyev conferred co-chairmen. After spokesman of Minister of Foreign Affairs Elhan Polohov said that “Minsk Group should be very active than old times.”[7]
Mehmet Fatih ÖZTARSU – Expert of Caucasus

[1] Haber7, 07.05.2009,
[2] Ria Novosti, 22.05.2009,
3 Yeni Şafak Newspaper,
[4] Mehmet Fatih Öztarsu, Dağlık Karabağ Sorunu’na Çözüm Arayışlarında Minsk Grubu’nun ve Komşu Devletlerin Rolü, TÜRKSAM,
[5] Ria Novosti, 06.11.2009,
[6] Asbarez, 23.11.2009,
[7] TurkishNY, 05.11.2009,

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