AZERBAIJAN - ARMENIA CONFLICT
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History of The Conflict

Facts and developments

The contemporary Azerbaijani statehood takes its roots back from the Kingdom of Caucasian Albania. The area presently known as Nagorno-Karabakh (Mountainous Karabakh) was a part of that Kingdom since its formation. According to the Antic sources there were 26 tribal unions in Albania, ethnic composition of which was autochthonous Caucasian and Turkic. Albania with its autocephalous church possessed a rich and unique culture, where alphabet in use was composed of 52 letters. In a year 313 A.D. Christianity was confirmed as a state religion in Albania. Turbulent situation did not let it to keep its independence for a long time. In a year 705 A.D. the Kingdom was totally subordinated to the Arab Khalifat. After this, the Khalifat having an alliance with Armenians against Byzantium, with the aim of elimination of the close relations between Albania and Byzantium, subjugated Albanian Church to the Armenian Grigorian Church.

Throughout the Middle Ages, Karabakh always was part of the state formations existed in the territory of present Azerbaijan led by Turkic Muslim dynasties and inhabited by Turkic speaking people.

18th century was marked with an establishment of the Karabakh Khanate, which was headed by the Turkic (Azerbaijani) dynasty of Djavanshirs. This was the Azerbaijani Khanate ruled by the hereditary dynastic tradition of Azerbaijani nobles, predominantly populated by ethnic Azerbaijanis.
      
A rule of Russian Empire was imposed on the Khanate after the signature of the Treaty of Kurakchay (1805) between the Khan of Karabakh and the Russian Empire. After the take-over of the overall Caucasian region, the Russian Empire pursued divide et impera policy through different means with a view to establishing and strengthening its total control. Enforced change of demographic situation in the region by massive resettlement of the Armenians to Karabakh from Persia and the Ottoman Empire was an extensive package of measures of such kind. After the Russo-Iranian (1806-1813, 1826-1828) and Russo-Ottoman (1828-1829) wars the ethnic composition of the region was substantially changed. Only during the period of 1828-1830 more than 40.000 Armenians from Persia and 84.600 from Ottoman Empire were settled to Azerbaijan.
      
In 1828, by the order of the Russian Emperor, an Armenian Oblast was formed in the territories of occupied Azerbaijani Khanates (Irevan and Nakhchivan). This was done with the aim of creating a buffer zone in the backyard of the Ottoman Empire and to divide the Turkic speaking band into separate parts. Abolition of the Albanian Church by the Russian Czar in 1836 resulted in ultimate Grigorianization (Armenization) of the Albanian population.

1918

May 28 - Declaration of independence of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR). On the same day the independence of the Republic of Armenia was declared;
      
May 29 - The government of ADR yielded the town of Irevan (presently Yerevan, the 30% of population were people of different ethnicities, including Armenians, whereas the 70% majority were Azerbaijanis) to the Government of the Republic of Armenia, which had declared its independence, but had no political center.
      
June 4 - The Batum Peace Treaty between the Ottoman Empire and the three South-Caucasian republics ( Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia). The Ottoman Empire was the first state, which recognized independence of the South-Caucasian republics. According to the Treaty on the Armenian side signed by the Prime Minister of the Dashnak Government, the borders of Armenia have been defined and consequently the total area of this state was specified, as 10.000 sq. km. composed of Erivan and Echmiadzin districts with 400.000 residents. Naturally Karabakh was the part of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic;
      
June-July - Contrary to the agreed terms of peaceful and good neighborly relations, Republic of Armenia began the large-scale aggression against Azerbaijan. Occupation of the town of Nakhchivan, massive attacks on Azerbaijani villages of Zangezur and Karabakh resulted in devastation of 115 villages and killing of 7729 Azerbaijani civilians. Around 50.000 people were displaced from their homelands;

1920
      
January 11 - De-facto recognition of independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan by the Supreme Council of the Allied Nations;
      
April 27 - Occupation of Azerbaijan by the 11th Red Army of Soviet Russia;
      
April 28 - Azerbaijan Democratic Republic ceased its existence and the Soviet rule was established in Azerbaijan;

1921
      
July 5 - The Caucasian Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Russia (bolshevik) decided: "Proceeding from the necessity to maintain peace between Moslems and Armenians, economic ties between Highland and Lowland Karabakh, its uninterrupted ties with Azerbaijan, to keep Mountainous Karabakh within the Azerbaijan SSR and to grant broad regional autonomy."

At the same time with granting the right of self-rule to the Armenians of the Mountainous Karabakh, predominantly Azerbaijani populated regions of Zangezur and part of Kazakh district (in total 9.000 km²) was given to Armenia. In total, 20.000 km² Azerbaijani territories had been given to Armenia in the Soviet years;

1923
      
July 7 - Decree of the Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan SSR on "Formation of the Autonomous Region in the Mountainous Karabakh with an administrative center in Khankendi" (The name of the town was renamed from Khankendi to Stepanakert after Stepan Shaumian, famous bolshevik leader, in September 1923). At the same time, three hundred thousands of Azerbaijanis who have lived in compact settlements in Armenia were refused even cultural autonomy by the governments of both the USSR and the Armenian SSR.

1948-1953
      
Azerbaijani population of Armenia always lived under pressure and this resulted in massive organized deportation of Azerbaijanis from Armenia. According to official data, more than fifty thousands of Azerbaijanis from Armenia were resettled in the Kur-Araz lowlands regions of Azerbaijan between the years of 1948-1953;

1987
      
November 18 - The statement of A. Aganbegian, the Kremlin counselor, on expediency of uniting Mountainous Karabakh with the Armenian SSR. This statement played a crucial role in firing national hatred and fomenting the conflict;
      
November-December - Demonstrations calling to annex the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region (hereinafter - NKAR) of the Azerbaijan SSR to the Armenian SSR were held in Yerevan ( Armenia);

1988

January - Massive deportation of Azerbaijanis living in the Armenian SSR to Azerbaijan. By decision of the authorities, these refugees were settled in Baky and Sumgayit;
      
February - First victims of the conflict: two civilian Azerbaijanis were killed in Askeran (Nagorno-Karabakh);
      
February 28-29 - Massive disorders in Sumgayit took place. As a result 32 people were killed of different ethnicity, including Armenians, Azerbaijanis and Russians. The group of criminals was led by ethnic Armenian Eduard Grigorian who personally killed 5 Armenians and raped 6 Armenian women;
      
July 18 - The enlarged meeting of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR confirmed NKAR as an integral part of the Azerbaijan SSR;
      
November 27-29 - As a result of pogroms against Azerbaijani civilians in the cities of Gugark, Spitak and Stepanavan of the Armenian SSR, 33 people were killed;
      
December - More than 220.000 ethnic Azerbaijanis were forced to leave their homelands in the Armenian SSR;

1989
      
July 29 - The railway link from Azerbaijan to Armenia was closed because of the attacks to the trains in the territory of Armenia. Beginning of the isolation of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan by Armenia;
      
December 1 - The Supreme Council of the Armenian SSR passed a resolution "on reunification of the Armenian SSR and NKAR"; thus in violence of all basic norms and principles of international law, Armenia officially declared its claim against the territorial integrity of the neighboring state;

1990
      
January 13 - Disarmament of the Baky police by the order of USSR Interior Office. Due to this, following next days (13-16 January) it was impossible to prevent disorders in Baky;
      
January 20 - The Soviet Army invaded Baky and massacred hundreds of local civilians. Children, women and elderly people were the first victims of this vandalism. Official statistics claims around 150 people died, 700 injured;

1991
      
September 2 - Armenians declared the establishment of the so-called "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR)" in the territory of Mountainous Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The illegal armed groups of about 15.000 people were formed as a "self-defense forces of NKR";
      
September 23 - Meeting of Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Zheleznovodsk ( Russia) mediated by the Russian and Kazakhstan Presidents. An agreement was reached to settle the conflict in a peaceful way;
      
October-November - In despite of the reached agreement, Armenian armed forces launched massive attacks against Azerbaijani population of the Khodjavand/Martuni and Hadrut districts of the NKAR. About 30 villages were occupied and devastated and inhabitants were driven out of their homes;
      
November 20 - Armenian terrorists opened a fire at the civilian helicopter "MI-8", which was carrying a group of high ranking people from Russia and Kazakhstan and senior leadership of Azerbaijan near the village of Garakend of the Khodjavand district (NKAR). The murder of 22 people was an end of the first attempt for the peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict undertaken in Zheleznovodsk and gave an impetus to further escalation of violence;

1992
      
January 30-31 - The second meeting of the CSCE Council in Prague. Azerbaijan and Armenia got admitted to the CSCE;
      
February 25-26 - A while after the accession of Armenia to the CSCE, the armed forces of this state committed an act of genocide against civilian population of Khojali, Azerbaijani town within the former NKAR. With substantial support of the regiment #366 of Russia (deployed in Khankendi), the Armenian army brutally killed 613 people (among them, 63 children, 106 women, 70 elders) and destroyed this town. 487 people were wounded (including 76 children); 1275 persons were taken as hostages; 150 people are still missing;
      
February 28 - 7th meeting of the OSCE Committee of Senior Officials in Prague. It called the parties to establish a cease-fire in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan without delay, respect inviolability of internal, as well as external borders, which can only be changed by peaceful means and with common consent, and refuse from all territorial claims, including abstinence from all the hostile propaganda;
      
End of February - Removal of the 366th rifle regiment of the Russian armed forces from Khankendi to Russia and illegal transfer of 25 tanks, 87 armored infantry fighting vehicles, 28 armored vehicles, 45 artillery mortar systems to the Armenian separatists;
      
March 11 - The declaration of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe expressing its deep concern about recent reports of indiscriminate killings and outrages, and firm condemnation of the violence and attacks directed against the civilian populations in the Nagorno-Karabakh area of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
      
March 24 - First additional Helsinki meeting of the CSCE Council. Decision to convene a conference on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict under the auspices of the CSCE;
      
May 7 - Meeting of the Heads of States of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Tehran with mediation of Iran. Meeting was devoted to the normalization of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the peaceful settlement of the conflict. The Heads of States signed a communique at the end of the meeting;
      
May 8 - At the same time with signing of the communique in Tehran Armenia occupied the Shusha district of NKAR (91.7% population of which was Azerbaijanis). As a result of the occupation of Shusha region more than 20 thousand of Azerbaijanis were expelled from their homeland;
      
May 17 - While discussions on peaceful settlement of the conflict in the meeting of the Senior Officials Committee of the CSCE in Helsinki were going on, armed forces of Armenia occupied Lachin region. As a result of this occupation 63.341 Azerbaijani civilians were forced to leave their homes;
      
September 19 - Agreement on cessation of all military actions for two months period (with later prolongation clause) was reached in Sochi (Russia) by Defense Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan;
      
December 9-12 - Violating the agreement reached in Sochi, Armenia occupied 8 villages of Zangilan district of Azerbaijan;

1993
      
March 27-April 3 - At the same time with the peace talks in Geneva, Armenia occupied Kalbadjar district of Azerbaijan. 60.698 Azerbaijanis were driven out of their permanent residences;
      
April 6 - The President of the UN Security Council made a statement condemning the occupation of Kalbadjar;
      
April 15 - The declaration of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The CM expressed its serious concerns on escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and especially the extension of the combat zone to the Kelbadjar district of the Republic of Azerbaijan and endorsed the demand of the President of the UN Security Council for the immediate cessation of all hostilities and calls for the withdrawal of all forces which endanger the peace and security of the region;
      
April 25-29 - The Organization of Islamic Conference adopted a resolution strongly condemning the recent Armenian offensive against Azerbaijan and the occupation of Azerbaijani territories;
      
April 30 - Adoption of the resolution #822 by the UN Security Council, demanding immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces from the Kelbadjar and other recently occupied areas of Azerbaijan;
      
June 11 - The Statement of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC): "We strongly support UN SC Resolution #822, which must be implemented fully and without delay by all countries and parties to the conflict. We call for the immediate cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of all occupying forces from the Kelbadjar and other recently occupied districts of Azerbaijan";
      
July 23 - Occupation of the Agdam district of Azerbaijan by Armenia, immediately after the visit of Mr. M. Rafaelli, the chairman of the Minsk Conference of the OSCE. 158.000 Azerbaijani civilians were forcefully displaced from their homes;
      
July 24 - Statement by the Chairman of the CSCE Minsk Conference on the offensive on and reported seizure of Agdam city (Azerbaijan);
      
July 29 - Adoption of the resolution #853 of the UN Security Council, which demanded "the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of occupying forces involved from the district of Agdam and other recently occupied districts of the Republic of Azerbaijan";
      
August 18 - The statement of the President of the UN Security Council on full, immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces from the Agdam district and other recently occupied districts of Azerbaijan.
      
August 23-26 - Despite the mentioned warnings, Armenia, continuing its aggression, occupied Fizuli and Jabrail districts of Azerbaijan. As a result, 209.985 Azerbaijani civilians were forcefully displaced from their homelands;
      
August 25-26 - Armenia ignores the request of the Chairman-in-office of the CSCE addresses to the Armenian President L. Ter-Petrosian on not advancing the armed forces for occupation of Gubadly and Zangilan regions of Azerbaijan;
      
August 31 - The occupation of the Gubadly district of Azerbaijan by the Armenian troops. As a result, 31.364 Azerbaijani civilians were displaced from their homes;
      
October 14 - Adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution #874, which called for "immediate implementation of the reciprocal and urgent steps provided for in the CSCE Minsk Group's Adjusted timetable, including the withdrawal of forces from recently occupied territories";
      
October 28-November 1 - Occupation of the Horadiz town and Zangilan district of Azerbaijan. 34.924 Azerbaijani civilians had to flee and leave their homes;
      
November 11 - Adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution #884, which condemned the occupation of Zangilan district and the Horadiz town, attacks on civilians and bombardments of the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan and demanded the unilateral withdrawal of occupying forces from the Zangilan district and Horadiz, and the withdrawal of occupying forces from other recently occupied areas of the Azerbaijani Republic;

1994

January 10-11 - The Heads of State and Government of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council adopted a declaration where they "condemned the use of force for territorial gains. Respect for the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia is essential to the establishment of peace, stability and cooperation in the region…";
      
April 15 - CIS Declaration on respect to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders of the participating states of the CIS. Armenia was the only CIS country, who did not join the declaration;
      
May 12 - Agreement on cease-fire entered into force;
      
June 9-10 - The Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council adopted a declaration where the ministers "agreed that implementation of an effective cease-fire and constructive negotiations in a spirit of compromise are essential to create the conditions necessary for a step-by-step peace process leading to a permanent solution, including the de-escalation of the conflict and the withdrawal of forces from areas occupied by force and the return of displaced persons to their homes in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions…";
      
December 5-6 - CSCE Budapest Summit. A decision on "Intensification of CSCE action in relation to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict" was adopted. In accordance with this document the institute of Co-Chairs of the Minsk Conference was established "to conduct speedy negotiations for the conclusion of a political agreement on cessation of the armed conflict, the implementation of which, will eliminate major consequences of the conflict for all parties and permit the convening of the Minsk Conference". Thereby, the Budapest Summit adopted a two-stage legal framework of the settlement process: 1) first stage - elimination of consequences of the armed conflict by implementation of the agreement, i.e., full liberation of all occupied territories and ensuring return of IDPs to their homes; 2) second stage - convening Minsk Conference for final, comprehensive settlement of the conflict. The Budapest Summit also adopted a decision to establish an OSCE peacekeeping operation after the conclusion of the political agreement;

1995
      
Negotiations on elaboration of the agreement on cessation of the conflict.

1996
      
December 2-3 - OSCE Lisbon Summit. The OSCE Chairman-in-Office has made a statement supported by all (53) OSCE member states except Armenia, on three principles for the settlement of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan: 1) territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia and the Azerbaijan Republic; 2) legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh defined in an agreement based on self-determination which confers on Nagorno-Karabakh the highest degree of self-rule within Azerbaijan; 3) guaranteed security for Nagorno-Karabakh and its whole population, including mutual obligations to ensure compliance by all the parties with the provisions of the settlement;

1997
      
January - An institute of "triple" Co-Chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Conference (Russia, USA and France) was introduced;
      
April 2 - The report of the Chairman of the Defense Committee of the State Duma, Mr. Lev Rokhlin on an illegal delivery of the Russian weapons to Armenia worth of one billion USD. Later on, Mr. Rokhlin got killed in unknown circumstances;
      
April 22 - Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a Resolution (1119) on the conflicts in Transcaucasus, where it stressed the settlement of the conflicts in the region has to be on the basis of the principles set out in the 1975 Helsinki Final Act and the 1990 Paris Charter:

      i. inviolability of borders;
      ii. guaranteed security for all peoples in the areas concerned, particularly through multinational peacekeeping forces;
      iii. extensive autonomy status for Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh to be negotiated by all the parties concerned;
      iv. right of return of refugees and displaced persons and their reintegration respecting human rights.

June 1 - The Co-chairmen introduced a "package plan" for the settlement of the conflict. The basic idea behind the proposal was to work in parallel negotiations on two core issues of the confrontation: withdrawal of the armed forces from occupied regions and elaboration of the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. Unlike Armenia, who refused this plan, Azerbaijan accepted the proposal with some exceptions;
      
September 19 - The Co-chairmen introduced "step-by-step" settlement plan. This plan envisaged two-staged conflict settlement according to the following scheme: On the first stage - withdrawal of occupying armed forces from six districts, which are outside of the former NKAO (except Lachin district), return of civilian population and restoration of the main communication links in the conflict area; on the second stage - definition of the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh as well as of Lachin and Shusha;
      
October 10 - Strasbourg Joint Statement of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia on supporting the plan for "step-by-step" settlement of the conflict;
      
L. Ter-Petrosian noted the importance of the step-by-step resolution of the conflict in his article "War or Peace". Later, he had to resign under the pressure of the political-military circles. The Prime Minister R. Kocharyan (a resident of the Mountainous Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and leader of separatists until before this appointment) became an acting President of the country. Short after his victory in the presidential elections, the position of Armenia on the settlement of the conflict became tougher.
      
Between 1997-2002, no meeting of the OSCE Minsk Group was held in full composition.

1998
      
April-May - Armenia officially declared about the renunciation of the consent of the former President of the Republic on the step-by-step settlement;
      
November 9 - The Co-chairmen brought forward a new plan for the settlement, called a "common state". Azerbaijani side refused to accept this proposal as a basis for the negotiations because of its inconsistence with the norms and principles of international law as well as the national legislation. Azerbaijan confirmed its readiness to resume negotiations within the OSCE Minsk Group framework, on the basis of the previous proposal of the co-chairmen, on the step-by-step settlement plan;

1999-2002
      
Direct talks between the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia. Up to date, they have met more than 20 times. No results have been achieved so far.

2002
      
March 8 - In search of the advancing the peace process, the Co-chairmen suggested to appoint Special Representatives of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia for negotiations on the conflict. The Special Representatives met three times during a year, twice in Prague - in May and July and once in Vienna - in November;
      
July 12 - In the final document of the EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Committee, the EU reaffirmed its support to the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan as the basis for the peaceful solution of the conflict;
      
August 2 - The EU condemned holding of the so-called "presidential elections" in Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

2003
      
January 23 - An Enlarged Bureau of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers held a special session in Strasburg on the fulfillment of the obligations undertaken by Azerbaijan and Armenia to peacefully settle the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.
      
January 30 - The Secretary General of the Council of Europe voiced regret at the recent declaration on "ethnic incompatibility between Armenians and Azerbaijanis", made by President Kocharian of Armenia. "Recalling dark pages of European history will never be a good electoral strategy", underlined Walter Schwimmer in reference to the upcoming presidential elections in Armenia, scheduled for 19 February.
      
February 19 - March 5 The presidential elections in Armenia. R. Kocharyan was elected as the President of the Republic of Armenia for his second term. The observers of OSCE/ODIHR, CE Parliamentary Assembly reported that the elections were held with serious irregularities.
      
June 19 - The coalition government of Armenia submitted its action plan for the next four years to the parliament. The section "Defense and Security" of this program states that, "as in previous years, the government sees the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem within peace negotiation process, emphasizing international recognition of the right of the "Artsakh" (Nagorno-Karabakh) people to self-determination and security guarantees of the population of the "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic". The very possibility of subordination of the " Nagorno-Karabakh Republic" to Azerbaijan is ruled out."
      
During the presentation of the program, the Armenian Prime Minister A.Markaryan, speaking about the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, said: "Karabakh must not be part of Azerbaijan, must have a common border with Armenia and that the self-determination of the Karabakh Armenians must be recognized by the world".
      
August 19 - During monitoring held by the Office of Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border in the Tovuz region of Azerbaijan the Armenian side again broke ceasefire regime, as a result of which the monitoring process was immediately stopped. Unfortunately, the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprczyk refused to mention this fact in his information report.
      
September - Co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group from Russia N.Gribkov was replaced by Y.Merzlyakov. During his visit to the region he held series of meetings with Azerbaijani officials on September 3-5.
      
October 15 - The presidential elections in Azerbaijan. Ilham Aliyev was elected as the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan for his first term.
      
December 11 - The first meeting of the President of Azerbaijan Mr. I.Aliyev with his Armenian counterpart in Geneva.

2004
      
April 16 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Cochairmen in Prague.
      
April 28-30 - The meeting of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Warsaw.
      
May 12-13 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Cochairmen in Strasbourg.
     
June 21 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Cochairmen in Prague.
      
June 28-29 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with the presence of the Turkish Foreign Minister Mr. Abdullah Gul in Istanbul
      
August 3-12 - Command staff exercises conducted by Armenian armed forces in the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
      
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan in its statement drew the attention of the international community to the fact that conducting of these exercises is another obvious evidence of the aggression by the Republic of Armenia against the Republic of Azerbaijan, and of occupation of its territories.
      
August 8 - "elections" to the "local self-government bodies" were held by the authorities of the Armenian separatist regime in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
      
In the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan it was noted that such kind of "elections" may not pretend to have a single piece of legitimacy because they are in complete contradiction with the norms of international law, as well as with the national legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan, since they are being held in conditions of continuing aggression, occupation and forceful expulsion of one third of the indigenous population of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Azerbaijani origin.
      
August 30 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Cochairmen in Prague.
      
September 15 - The meeting of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan within the CIS Summit in Astana. The President of Armenia Robert Kocharian requested to delay the following Prague meeting (25th of October 2004) of the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia for need to analyze and comprehend the results of the previous four meetings of FMs.
      
October 14 - Azerbaijan requested the inclusion of an additional item in the agenda of the fifty-ninth session of the UN General Assembly, entitled "The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan".
      
October 29 - Acting on the recommendations of its General Committee, the UN General Assembly decided to include an additional item on its current agenda entitled "The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan". It took that decision by a recorded vote of 43 in favour to 1 against ( Armenia) with 99 abstentions.
      
November 19 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Berlin.
      
November 23 - Additional item #163 "The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan" was debated on the 59th session of UN General Assembly. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan gave a speech concerning the content of the additional item and illegal activities of Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
      
December 5 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Cochairmen in Sofia.
      
December 6-7 - The meeting of the 12th OSCE Ministerial Council in Sofia. The adoption of the Ministerial Council statement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which "commend the progress achieved in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 2004, in particular, the three meetings of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan under the auspices of the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group and welcome the creation of the so-called "Prague Process", through which four meetings between the Foreign Ministers of both countries allowed the methodical re-examination of all the parameters of a future settlement".
      
December 9 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Brussels in the framework of NATO EAPC Ministerial.

2005
      
January 11 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen in Prague.
      
January 25 - Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution 1416. The resolution reaffirms "that independence and secession of a regional territory from a state may only be achieved through a lawful and peaceful process based on democratic support by the inhabitants of such territory and not in the wake of an armed conflict leading to ethnic expulsion and the de facto annexation of such territory to another state." The Assembly calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to make use OSCE Minsk Process and actively submit to each other via the Minsk Group their constructive proposals for the peaceful settlement of the conflict. David Atkinson, special PACE Rapporteur on Nagorno-Karabakh, the author of the resolution and recommendations, responding to the question of the BBC correspondent on the principle of territorial integrity vs. the principle of self-determination in resolution of the conflict, stated that principle of self-determination can not be applied to the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, because Azerbaijan stands for its territorial integrity, recognized by international community.
      
January 30-February 5 - The visit by the "OSCE Minsk Group Fact-Finding Mission on Settlements in the Occupied Territories of Azerbaijan" to the occupied territories - Aghdam, Jabrayil, Fizuli, Zangilan, Gubadly, Kalbajar and Lachin - of Azerbaijan.
      
February - The OSCE dispatch Fact-Finding Mission to investigate the Armenian illegal settlements in the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
      
March 2 - The meeting of the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs in Prague.
      
The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs officially presented a report of the OSCE Minsk Group Fact-Finding Mission (FFM). In their joint statement Co-Chairs pointed that "the mission found evidence of the presence of settlers in the territories examined" and recommended "that any further settlement of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan should be discouraged". They urged "the parties to accelerate negotiations toward a political settlement in order, inter alia, to address the problem of the settlers and to avoid changes in the demographic structure of the region, which would make more difficult any future efforts to achieve a negotiated settlement". In his comments Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammedyarov considered the FFM report as objective in general. The FFM determined about 16,000 settlers in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan outside the Nagorno-Karabakh region. "It is clear that the longer they remain in the occupied territories, the deeper their roots and attachments to their present places of residence will become. Prolonged continuation of this situation could lead to a fait accompli that would seriously complicate the peace process" said Co-Chairs' statement.
      
April 15 - Continuation of " Prague process" in London. Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan and Armenia met separately with the Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group to discuss further steps to resolve the conflict. The mediators - France, Russia and the US declared that the peace process has entered a "sensitive juncture, where a first step towards an agreement could be at hand in the framework of the discussions between the parties."
      
April 27 - The meeting of the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs in Frankfurt.
      
In the threshold of the Council of Europe's Summit in Warsaw Presidents Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Robert Kocharyan of Armenia met at the Belvedere palace in the presence of the OSCE Minsk group Co-chairs, and Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov of Russia and Michel Barnier of France. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov has briefed journalists on the three-hour meeting. "Despite certain progress has been reached, there is still a need for further discussion," he said. The Minister added that after the meeting the Presidents have assigned the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia to continue negotiating some important issues other than those agreed within the Prague process. According to him, the Co-chairs will also continue their activities. "Generally, no format of the talks but their result is important for Azerbaijan, in other words, territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored," the Minister said.
      
June 17 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs in Paris.
      
June 19 - "Elections" to the "parliament" were held by the authorities of the Armenian separatist regime in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
      
In its statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan noted that such kind of "elections" may not pretend to have a single piece of legitimacy because they are in complete contradiction with the norms of international law, as well as with the national legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan, since they are being held in conditions of continuing aggression, occupation and ethnic cleansing. It states that such activities by Armenian side do not fit with the spirit of negotiation process, esp. when there is a hope for positive step forwards and that continuous peace cannot be achieved without normalization of life and peaceful co-existence and cooperation of Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
      
July 5 - The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly considered a report on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict at its session held in Washington. The report prepared by the Assembly's special envoy on the conflict Goran Lennmarker from Sweden. In his comments Mr. Lennmarker stressed that "the conflict is not frozen. Several people are killed along the line-of-contact every year". He added: "there is no alternative to a peaceful solution - in fact there is an urgent need to solve the conflict in order to end the personal, economic, and social suffering on both sides of this conflict". Mr. Lennmarker suggested basing a solution on experiences from Europe, where democracy and integration are fundamental components in securing a lasting peace. The report points out the fundamentals of ending of occupation, the return of refugees and IDPs as well as democracy and minority rights. Swedish diplomat recommends autonomy solution referring to an example of the Aland islands.
      
July 10-12 - The OSCE Group Co-Chairs (Ambassadors Steven Mann of the U.S., Yuriy Merzlyakov of Russia and Bernard Fassier of France) visited Azerbaijan and Armenia. In Azerbaijan they met with President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov as well as with Nizami Bakhmanov, the head of the expelled Azerbaijani community from the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. The Co-chairs told journalists at a press conference on July 12 that they discussed with President and Foreign Minister the principles, which could have become a basis for the future peace treaty. Mediators pointed out that much would depend on the two leaderships' political will and the peoples' desire.
      
During the meetings Co-Chairs discussed, among other issues, an Azerbaijani initiative to open a road network Agdam-Khankendi-Shusha-Lachin-Goris-Nakhichevan which would open communication line from Azerbaijan to Armenia and Nakhichevan enclave of Azerbaijan as well as Turkey. Nizami Bkhamanov positively responded to an idea of launching a dialogue between Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Araz Azimov commented Co-Chairs' meetings in Baku as "effective and fruitful." But he said that "negotiations were rather difficult and complicated." "I can't say that agreements have been reached. At all the meetings Azerbaijan has demonstrated a constructive position. Armenia also should occupy a constructive position, otherwise all opportunities will be missed," said Azimov. Azimov pointed out that Armenia tries to bring "new elements," which are not subject of the negotiations. "There are great chances to achieve peace right now and the opposing party can lose them. I urge Armenia to use this chance," said Azimov. "Azerbaijani occupied territories must be given back. Armenia must not claim to Azerbaijani territories under the pretext of the corridor (linking Armenia with Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan). Armenia can use the road passing through the Lachin corridor. But Lachin city cannot remain under occupation."
      
Opening of Agdam-Khankendi-Shusha-Lachin-Goris-Nakhichevan road will help to improve relationships and restore cooperation and confidence between people, said Azimov. He also stressed that the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh region could be resolved only through joint efforts of Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of Nagorno-Karabakh. "At present, part of people living in Nagorno Karabakh is Armenians, who arrived from abroad. Local Armenians are Azerbaijani citizens and Azerbaijanis must determine their status by themselves. For this purpose Azerbaijani population must return to the liberated territories and economic relationships and mutual confidence must be restored," said Azimov.
      
August 12 - In its address to the voters, the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan notified of the start of functioning of Khankendi Constituency No. 122 and called all citizens of Azerbaijan of Armenian origin living in Khankendi, Shusha, Khojali, Khojavend and other settlements of Nagorno Karabakh regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan, together with their countrymen to exercise their voting rights in Khankendi Constituency No. 122 and Shusha-Fuzuli-Khojali-Khojavend Constituency No. 124.
      
August 24 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs in Moscow.
      
August 26-27 - The meeting of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan within the CIS Summit in Kazan.
      
September 12 - The item entitled "The situation on the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan" was included into the agenda of the 60-th session of the UN General Assembly. On the same day the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe held discussion on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict in Paris. The PACE decided to follow further the process of honouring by two sides the decisions contained in the January 2005 PACE resolution on the conflict settlement.
      
September 14 - An international organization - International Crisis Group (ICG) working to prevent conflicts worldwide has issued report on Armenia-Azerbaijani conflict. ICG vice-president Alain Deletroz told at news conference in Baku that Armenia should not insist on the determination of the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, as disputes over the issue have considerably delayed the conflict resolution. "Armenia must withdraw from seven occupied Azerbaijani districts, refugees should return home, trust be restored between the two sides, and at last, the Karabakh status determined." Deletroz said that the activities to be carried out prior to the status determination will take at least 15-20 years. Deletroz said that just like all other international organizations, the ICG considers the Nagorno-Karabakh a part of Azerbaijan. "This is the legal aspect of the issue and there is no problem with it. The problem is that the Nagorno-Karabakh is de-facto in the hands of Armenians." The ICG project director on South Caucasus Sabin Frasier said the organization has welcomed the resumption of activity of the Khankandi district constituency in the Nagorno-Karabakh, which will allow ethnic Armenian citizens of Azerbaijan to vote in the November parliament elections in Azerbaijan.
      
December 5 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs in Ljubljana within the framework of the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting.
      
December 5-6 - The meeting of the 13th OSCE Ministerial Council in Ljubljana. The adoption of the Ministerial Council statement on the conflict dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Group, which "takes note with satisfaction of the progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations through the "Prague Process" in 2005, and in particular the two meetings of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Warsaw and Kazan under the auspices of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, and encourages the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to use the current promising window of opportunity in order to attain within the coming year significant achievements in the settlement of the conflict in the framework of the OSCE Minsk process."
      
December 16 - The visit of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to Azerbaijan.
      
December 16-20 - The reconnaissance trip of the High-Level Planning Group (HLPG) of the OSCE to Azerbaijan.

2006

January 9 - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) sub-committee on Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict held discussion on the conflict in Paris. The report of Lord Russell-Johnston about the current state of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict has been heard at the session. The report included all principally important provisions of January 2005 PACE resolution, including occupation of Azerbaijani territories, ethnic cleansing, refugees' problems and illegal settlement of occupied lands by Armenians. The report also included the item on the necessity of search for the conflict settlement option on the basis of European models of autonomy.
      
January 18-19 - The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs in London.
      
January 20-27 - The reconnaissance trip of the High-Level Planning Group (HLPG) of the OSCE to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
      
February 1 - The visit of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to Azerbaijan.

February 10-11 - President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Armenia Robert Kocharian met in Paris to negotiate the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. The leaders held 2 days closed-door talks in a chateau in Rambouillet, outside Paris, but no result was achieved.

June 5 - on the sideline of the Black Sea Forum for Partnership and Dialogue in Bucharest, Romania the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan have concluded a second round of talks aimed at resolving the conflict between the two countries, but no progress was reported. Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Mammadyarov said that, in spite of the lack of a breakthrough, the Aliyev-Kocharian meeting had seen a "wide discussion" of the details of a settlement. "We decided to continue the process and, if necessary, to hold another meeting at the level of foreign ministers," Mr. Mammadyarov said.

July-August - The Armenians set fire on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Forests and gardens have been completely burned. The Ministry of Ecology reported that the fire embraced the Zangilan National Park. On the 132,2 km² area a number of towns, villages, agricultural lands, cultural and historical monuments, existing flora and fauna, living dwellings have been destroyed or burnt by the fire. Analyses of the satellite photos confirm that fires were of a large scale and would have disastrous consequences for the entire ecological system of those occupied territories and the region as a whole. Satellite images showed that fires in five larger parts were localized and separated from each other by roads, channels and other non-burnt areas. Thus, it was apparent that simultaneous inflammation in several areas separated from each other and their massive and targeted character gave reasonable ground to suggest that they are man-made and intentional. The OSCE field mission has issued a report on the matter in question upon its visit to the affected regions. The report focuses on the lack of equipment on both sides – Azerbaijani and Armenians, for extinguishing fire and calls international organizations to render its assistance. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan expressed its readiness to work with the OSCE to prevent ecological disaster. Commenting on the OSCE report Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov said: “First of all, this report affirms that the territories were burnt. Secondly, fires led to ecological tragedies. And condition in these territories is getting worse day by day… I think this report will be useful to attract attention of international society… We consider all international organizations will take appropriate measures together with Azerbaijan. And Azerbaijan is ready to partake in these operations. As to Armenia, I think, Armenia must leave these territories and give international organizations and appropriate structures of Azerbaijan opportunity to take appropriate measures in these territories.” The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov has sent letters to the UN Secretary General, OSCE Chairman-in-Office, and Co-Chairs of OSCE Minsk Group dealing with the Armenia-Azerbaijani conflict, in relation to fires in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories.

September 7 - The UN General Assembly adopted resolution on "The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan" proposed by Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan came to an agreement with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs and Armenia after several days of intensive consultations through diplomatic channels, which resulted in the consensus-based adoption of the resolution. The resolution was important from several aspects. Most importantly, it created an environment for eradication of the consequences of months-lasting fires and for the rehabilitation of the affected territories. Thus, the document stressed the necessity of the urgent conduct of the environmental operation, calls for assessment of the short-term and long-term impact of the fires on the environment of the region and its rehabilitation. For these purposes, the resolution emphasized the readiness of the parties to cooperate and calls upon the organizations and programs of the United Nations system, in particular the United Nations Environment Program to cooperate with OSCE. Another provision reflected in the resolution is consideration of the organization of the OSCE fact-finding mission as the first step in preparation of the environmental operation. The OSCE Chairman-in-Office was requested to provide a report on this matter to member States of the General Assembly by April 30, 2007.

November 29 - NATO Member States in the declaration issued afterwards the Riga Summit 2006 reconfirmed the support for territorial integrity of post-Soviet states involved in ethnic and territorial conflicts. They stressed: “We regret the persistence of regional conflicts in the South Caucasus and the Republic of Moldova. Our nations support the territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the Republic of Moldova. We support continued efforts to achieve peaceful settlements to the conflicts involving these countries.”

November 29 - President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his Armenian counterpart Robert Kocharian met at the sideline of the CIS Summit in Minsk on. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has assessed positively the results of the negotiations. In comments broadcasted by national state television, Mr. Aliyev said “we are approaching the final stage of negotiations.” Officials of the Azerbaijan’s MFA stated that “"the presidents reached agreement on some very important issues.” “So far it is just verbal understanding between the presidents. But trend of the negotiations process is very positive, and the signing of any initial document on the conflict resolution in the near future is not excluded.” Talking about the breakthrough, Mr. Aliyev said that Azerbaijan had not altered its negotiating stance. "Azerbaijan’s position has not changed," he said, adding that the country’s “territorial integrity should be restored, and within that [arrangement], the people who live in Nagorno-Karabakh should be given the maximum degree of self-rule.” He also said that “the position of international organizations has changed in positive way” in recent months.

December 10 - The OSCE and EU issued separate statements rejecting the conduct of so-called referendum in Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenian military forces. "Such a referendum is counter-productive to the ongoing conflict settlement process, which has recently shown visible progress, as acknowledged by the parties," said Mr. De Gucht, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Belgian Foreign Minister. Referring to a statement on Nagorno-Karabakh made at 14th OSCE Ministerial Council in Brussels, he said: "We do not welcome a move that could jeopardize progress made at this promising juncture." He also referred to a statement by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, saying: "A reason not to recognize this referendum is that no member of the international community recognizes the so-called Nagorno-Karabakh republic as an independent state." The EU Presidency also reiterated its firm support to the OSCE Minsk Group and its Co-Chairmen, and their efforts towards a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “The EU considers that conducting such a "referendum", thus pre-empting the outcome of the ongoing negotiations, did not contribute to constructive efforts at peaceful conflict resolution. It calls on all parties to the conflict to intensify their efforts to find a negotiated solution to the conflict”, said in the statement.

2007

July - A delegation consisting of Azerbaijani and Armenian scientists, musicians and artists have toured both countries for the first time since the signing of the fragile ceasefire in the conflict in 1994. The delegation was led by the Azerbaijani and Armenian Ambassadors to Russian Federation, Polad Bul-Bul Oglu and Armen Smbatyan. The participants visited capitals of both countries and also toured the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, currently occupied by the Armenian forces. The meetings focused on creating an atmosphere of trust and parties emphasized the need for a dialogue between two nations. The participants said that intellectuals would continue the dialogue in creating a healthy and constructive environment to help resolve the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.

December - OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs presented a new revised plan to end the conflict. Mr. Bernard Fassier, the French Co-Chair of the OSCE's Minsk group, said, “it's a comprehensive presentation of all the basic principles which could pave the way for drafting a peace settlement.” He said the offer was handed to the foreign ministers of both countries so that they "will have a basis for discussion at any moment," particularly in view of upcoming presidential elections in both Armenia and in Azerbaijan in 2008. Commenting about the new proposals, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov noted that Nagorno-Karabakh could be given a special status within Azerbaijan, but normal relations must first be established between the two communities and infrastructure must be restored in the occupied territories. The World Bank made a statement on December 11 expressing its readiness to provide financial resources for reconstruction efforts in the war-torn areas, should a peace agreement be reached.

2008

March 4 - The Armenian armed forces attacked the Azerbaijani position on the line of contact in Terter region along with territories currently occupied by Armenia. Azerbaijani armed forces suppressed the attack suffering casualties and the deaths of three servicemen. Senior Azerbaijani officials raised serious concerns with Armenian authorities' use of a military provocation, seemingly to distract attention from the deepening post-election crisis in Armenia. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Khazar Ibrahim told that the authorities in Yerevan devised the conflict in order to divert attention from domestic problems. The recent presidential elections in Armenia sparked bloody protests and violent clashes between government security forces and civilian protesters, resulting in nearly a dozen reported deaths in the streets of the Armenian capital, Yerevan on March 1. "This is a clear provocation by Armenia," Mr. Ibrahim said. "They [Armenian authorities] are trying to use the situation which is taking place in Yerevan after the elections and are trying to divert the attention of their citizens and population from the internal and domestic issues in order to seek an external enemy."

March 14 - UN General Assembly adopted resolution title “The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan” which reaffirmed territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and demanded withdrawal of all Armenian forces from occupied Azerbaijani territories. By a recorded vote of 39 in favour to 7 against (Angola, Armenia, France, India, Russian Federation, United States, Vanuatu), with 100 abstentions, the Assembly also reaffirmed the inalienable right of the Azerbaijani population to return to their homes, and reaffirmed that no State should recognize as lawful the situation resulting from the occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories, or render assistance in maintaining that situation. At the same time, the Assembly recognized the need to provide secure and equal conditions of life for Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which would allow an effective democratic system of self-governance to be built up in the region within Azerbaijan.

June 6 - President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met with his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan in St. Petersburg in the presence of the OSCE Minsk group Co-Chairs dealing with the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. It was a first meeting between President Aliyev and the recently elected Armenian head of state. At a press conference that followed the talks, Foreign Ministers of the two neighboring states Elmar Mammadyarov and Edward Nalbandian described the meeting as positive and constructive. The Presidents have discussed approaches of the two sides towards settlement of the conflict and expressed their willingness to continue the peace process within the Minsk Group. US Co-Chair Mathew Bryza also called the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents a success noting the mediators have to improve proposals to meet the interests of both sides.

November 2 - Presidents of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed so-called Mosocw Declaration in the Russian capital on the peaceful resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. It was the first document undersigned by the leaders of both conflict parties - Armenia and Azerbaijan - since 1994 when ceasefire was established. Russian co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Yuri Merzlyakov called the declaration "a very important document", which may become a stimulus for the further peaceful resolution of the

2009

January 15 - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan issued a statement on Russia`s handing over $800,000 mln worth of military hardware and ammunition to Armenia. Expressing deep concern over this fact, the MFA stated that arms handover will dramatically increase war-making capacity of the occupant country. The MFA declared that this fact violates UN Security Council resolutions on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. The Foreign Ministry considered that such a step make the Russian Federation, one of the mediators of the conflict, responsible for jeopardizing the stability in the South Caucasus. Azerbaijan urged the Russian side to take every possible measure to eliminate consequences of arms handover.

January 28 - Talks between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Davos, Switzerland ended with “no breakthrough, just discussion of the different difficult issues," said Azerbaijan presidential spokesman. Presidents Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia agreed to intensify talks over the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict.

May 7 - At the residence of the U.S. ambassador in Prague Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev met with Serzh Sargsyan. During the first half hour of the talks, Foreign Ministers Elmar Mammadyarov and Nalbandian, and the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and the OSCE Chairman-in-Office's personal representative also took part.

June 4-5 - The meeting of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan took place in Saint Petersburg, Russia. During their tete-a-tete conversation as well as at the working session held afterwards with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Presidents discussed the overall conception of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement advanced by the mediators and reviewed some of the elements of the proposed settlement that have not yet been agreed.

June 5 - The first congress of the Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh was held on June 5, 2009. The Congress was attended by 350 elected representatives of the Community currently unifying more than 65.000 people. The Congress elected the Steering Board of the Community, consisting of 22 members. The Chief Executive of Shusha province of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, Mr. Bayram Safarov was elected as the Head of the Steering Board of the Azerbaijani Community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Congress stressed that the return of the Azerbaijani Community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan is of the utmost importance for the settlement of the conflict and it is the key element for the establishment of peace and security in the region.

July 10 – During the G8 Summit meeting in L’Aquila, Italy the presidents of the United States, Russia and France made a statement regarding the Armenia-Azerbaijani conflict affirming their commitment and support for the efforts by Armenia and Azerbaijan on finalizing basic principles of the agreement on the settlement of the conflict.

July 18 - A trilateral meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, including the co-chairs of Minsk group of OSCE was held in Moscow. Mr. Medvedev once again confirmed Russia’s readiness to intensify the efforts for mutually acceptable solution to the conflict.

October 9 - President Ilham Aliyev met with his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan for another round of talks during the CIS summit in Chisinau, Moldova. Following the meeting, President Aliyev spoke to Azerbaijan’s State TV channel. Mr. Aliyev said that despite some positive dynamics, no tangible progress has been achieved due to Armenia’s lack of constructive vision.

November 22 - After the meeting between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan held in Munich, a joint statement was issued by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. The statement said: "During this meeting, the sixth such meeting this year, the two presidents engaged in a detailed and in-depth discussion of the most important unresolved points in the co-chairs' proposals. The talks, which lasted almost four hours, were constructive. In some areas, progress was made. At the same time, some issues still remain open".

December 1 - Joint Statement on Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict was adopted at the meeting on the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict held within the 17th meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Athens. Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministers Elmar Mammadyarov and Edward Nalbandian, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, as well as Minsk Group co-chairs attended the meeting. In the statement released on Dec. 1, the five Heads of Delegation recalled the commitments in the November 2008 Moscow Declaration and the December 2008 Helsinki OSCE Ministerial Statement. They noted the positive dynamic in the talks, demonstrated through six meetings during 2009 between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. They agreed that the increasing frequency of these meetings has significantly contributed to an enhanced dialogue between the parties and to forwarding movement toward finalizing the Basic Principles for the Peaceful Settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, proposed in Madrid on November 29, 2007.

2010

January 25 - Under the auspices of the President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan met in Sochi, Russia to discuss the prospects of the resolution of Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. The Presidents were then joined by Foreign Ministers Elmar Mammadyarov of Azerbaijan, Sergei Lavrov of Russia and Edward Nalbandian of Armenia. The meeting discussed settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Following the trilateral meeting, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the preamble of the document on the basic principles for the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict settlement gained a common understanding of the parties.

May 20 - The European Parliament adopted the resolution entitled “The need for an EU Strategy for the South Caucasus” on the basis of the report of the Bulgarian member of the Parliament Mr. Evgeni Kirilov. The resolution mentioned that the conflict situation in the region is unacceptable. The European Parliamentary MPs expressed concern about the increase in military spending in recent years and called for the withdrawal of Armenian forces from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the resolution said. While strongly supporting the EU initiatives on the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership, the European Parliament called for an increasingly active role of the EU to transform the South Caucasus into a region of sustainable peace, stability and prosperity with a view to enhancing the integration of these countries into the European policies.

June 17 - Azerbaijan`s President Ilham Aliyev, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan held a joint meeting at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Saint Petersburg. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev also received Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group – Ambassadors Robert Bradtke of the United States, Bernard Fassier of France and Igor Popov of Russia - as well as Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk. The meeting focused on the current state and prospects of the talks on settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.

June 26 – During the 2010 G-8 Summit held in Muskoka, Canada, the presidents of France, Russia and US made a statement on the main principles for the settlement of the conflict. The Muskoka statement of the presidents was another important development. It reiterated a similar statement by the mediator countries’ presidents in July 2009 in L’Aquila and was meant to send a strong message to both sides that the international community unanimously supports the peace plan and expects both sides to quickly finalize their agreement on it.

July 17 - As part of the informal meeting of OSCE foreign ministers in Almaty, Azerbaijan`s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov met his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian to discuss the peace process over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Foreign ministers Bernard Kouchner of France, Sergey Lavrov of Russia, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg, as well OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs were present at the meeting.

The same day foreign ministers of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries released a statement on the results of the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian top diplomats Elmar Mammadyarov and Edward Nalbandian in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The Co-Chair countries` foreign ministers recalled the joint statement on Nagorno-Karabakh of December 1, 2009 at the OSCE Ministerial in Athens and reminded the sides of their commitment to seek a peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the principles contained in the Helsinki Final Act, particularly 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. They reiterated that the elements articulated by Presidents Medvedev, Obama and Sarkozy on July 10, 2009 at L`Aquila and repeated at Muskoka on June 26, 2010 must be the foundation of any fair and lasting settlement to the conflict.

Azerbaijan`s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian met several times consequently in 2010 (on November 6, 9, 22 and December 9) to discuss the peace process over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

October 27 - Azerbaijan`s President Ilham Aliyev, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan held a meeting in Astrakhan. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received here OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs Igor Popov of Russia, Robert Bradtke of U.S. and Bernard Fassier of France as well as Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk. They discussed the prospects of the talks to settle the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.

November 19-20 - The Declaration of the NATO Summit held in Lisbon stated: “With our vision of a Euro-Atlantic area at peace, the persistence of protracted regional conflicts in South Caucasus and the Republic of Moldova continues to be a matter of great concern for the Alliance. We urge all parties to engage constructively and with reinforced political will in peaceful conflict resolution, and to respect the current negotiation formats. We call on them all to avoid steps that undermine regional security and stability. We remain committed in our support of the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova, and will also continue to support efforts towards a peaceful settlement of these regional conflicts, taking into account these principles”.

December 1-2 – Heads of Delegations of OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair Countries and Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia issue joint statement on Nagorno-Karabakh. The Heads of Delegations of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, and the President of Armenia Serge Sargsian agreed that the time has come for more decisive efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In this context, they recalled the joint statements of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, with the President of the Russian Federation, on November 2, 2008, in Moscow, and on October 27, 2010, in Astrakhan. They further agreed that a peaceful, negotiated settlement will bring stability and security and is the only way to bring real reconciliation to the peoples of the region. The Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan reaffirmed their commitment to seek a final settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, based upon: the principles and norms of international law; the United Nations Charter; the Helsinki Final Act; as well as the statements of Presidents Medvedev, Sarkozy, and Obama, at L`Aquila on July 10, 2009, and at Muskoka on June 26, 2010.

2011

March 5 - Settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict was discussed during talks held in Sochi between the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan. Following the talks, presidents Dmitry Medvedev, Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan issued a joint statement. The document stated that the three leaders discussed the practical implementation of the tripartite declaration adopted during their previous meeting in Astrakhan on October 27, 2010. In particular, the heads of state agreed to complete the exchange of prisoners as soon as possible. In addition, the document stressed their commitment to resolve all disputes by peaceful means and to investigate possible incidents, with the participation of the parties under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group with the assistance of the Special Representative of the OSCE chairman.

March 8 - As a result of a cease fire violation by the Armenian Armed Forces on the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 9 year old boy Fariz Badalov was shot by an Armenian sniper. The boy was playing outside his house in the village of Orta Garvand in Azerbaijan's Agdam District when he was wounded in the head by a sniper from the Armenian-occupied territory and died on the way to hospital. This outrageous violation of international humanitarian law occurred three days after President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Armenia Serge Sarksyan met in Sochi, Russia under the auspices of Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev to discuss a peaceful resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijani conflict.

March 9 - Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassadors Bernard Fassier of France, Robert Bradtke of the United States, and Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, dealing with the negotiation process between Azerbaijan and Armenia, released a statement expressing deep concern over cease fire violations after the March 5 Sochi meeting. “Such senseless acts” the statement said, “would contravene the commitment of the parties to refrain from the use of force and to seek a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”

May 26 – A joint statement was made by the presidents of France, the Russian Federation and the United States of America on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during the G8 Summit held in Deauville, France. The statement mentioned that the Presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group's Co-Chair countries are convinced that the time has arrived for all sides of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to take a decisive step towards a peaceful settlement. They reiterated that only a negotiated settlement can lead to peace, stability, and reconciliation, - opening opportunities for regional development and cooperation. The use of force, they said, created the current situation of confrontation and instability, and its use again would only bring more suffering and devastation and would be condemned by the international community. Presidents strongly urged the leaders of all sides to prepare their populations for peace, not war.

June 24 - Dmitry Medvedev met with the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan in Kazan, Russia. A joint statement was issued following the meeting. The statement noted that the Presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Russian Federation reviewed the progress in agreement on the draft of the Basic Principles for Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, in accordance with their instructions. The Presidents acknowledged that common understanding had been reached on a number of issues whose resolution will promote the conditions for approval of the Basic Principles. The Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan expressed their gratitude to the leaders of Russia, the US and France as co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group for their permanent attention to the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement issue and gave a high assessment of the personal efforts of the President of the Russian Federation in helping achieve the agreements.

July 14 - A terrible accident took place in the Alibayli village of Azerbaijan's Tovuz district bordering with Armenia. The blast of an explosive device killed Shahmaliyeva Aygun, born in 1998 and heavily wounded her mother Shahmaliyeva Elnara, born in 1979. The dog-like toy with an explosive device was dropped by the Armenian side into the Tovuz River flowing through the village of Alibeyli.