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Cablegate: Instruction - Minsk Group Response to Syg Re:

VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #4950 3301930
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 251923Z NOV 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 3963
INFO RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU IMMEDIATE 7695
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 6211
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 1896
RUEHYE/AMEMBASSY YEREVAN IMMEDIATE 6416

UNCLAS STATE 124950

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AJ FR PREL RS ZJ XJ
SUBJECT: INSTRUCTION - MINSK GROUP RESPONSE TO SYG RE:
UNGA RESOLUTION ON OCCUPIED TERRITORIES IN AZERBAIJAN

1. The Department instructs USUN to deliver the response
below to the Secretary General. The response was jointly
drafted and agreed upon by the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group
(United States, Russia and France). The Co-Chairs agreed
that the U.S. would deliver the joint response under U.S.
cover letter and signature.

2. Begin Text:

Dear Mr. Secretary General:

In response to your request for information from our
countries regarding the implementation of UN General Assembly
resolution 62/243 of March 14, 2008, 'The situation in the
occupied territories of Azerbaijan,' which was passed with 39
votes in favor, 7 votes against, and 100 abstentions, we are
submitting with this letter the report of the three Co-Chair
countries of the OSCE Minsk Group dealing with the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (the United States, Russia, and
France) to the Permanent Council of the OSCE on November 6,
2008, outlining our activities relating to the
Nagorno-Karabakh settlement during the past year.

As we noted in our explanation of vote on Resolution 62/243
on March 14, 2008, our three countries had jointly proposed
to the two parties a set of basic principles for the peaceful
settlement of the conflict on the margins of the OSCE
Ministerial Council in Madrid in November 2007. Those basic
principles were founded on the provisions of the Helsinki
Final Act, including those related to refraining from the
threat or use of force, the territorial integrity of States,
and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples. The
proposal transmitted to the two sides in Madrid comprised a
balanced package of principles that was then, and is still
currently, under negotiation. Our countries viewed
Resolution 62/243 as selectively propagating only certain of
those principles to the exclusion of others, without
considering the Co-Chairs, proposal in its balanced
entirety. This lack of balance forced our countries to vote
against the resolution, much to our regret. Nevertheless, in
our explanation of vote, and again today, we reaffirm our
support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. We are
still convinced today that the most effective way for
Azerbaijan to secure its territorial integrity is to continue
its increasingly constructive discussions with Armenia to
finalize the basic principles our countries proposed to both
parties in Madrid, and thereby establish the framework for a
comprehensive settlement that also incorporates the
principles of self-determination and non-use of force in a
mutually acceptable way. In conclusion, we note that on
November 2, 2008, the President of Azerbaijan, together with
the Presidents of Armenia and Russia, signed a joint
declaration on November 2, 2008 in Moscow in which they
reaffirmed 'the importance of continuing the mediation
efforts of the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group with
regard to their meetings with the parties in Madrid on 29
November, 2007 and subsequent discussions with a view to
further developing the basic principles of a political
settlement.'
RICE

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