OSCE Minsk Group's Proposals
Package Agreement, July 1997
Minsk Group's first presented proposal was a comprehensive document in which the mediators tried to find an overall agreement for a basic framework for a peace plan. The main items of this "package proposal" advocated the following:
- Withdrawal of the respective armed forces, including that of Nagorno-Karabakh, to the borders of 1988;
- Establishing a buffer zone in the military evacuated areas and the deployment of an OSCE peacekeeping force;
- Return of refugees to the demilitarized zones;
- Nagorno-Karabakh's exclusive right to the use of Latchin corridor that the OSCE would lease from Azerbaijan;
- Evacuation and demilitarization of Shushi and Shahumian, the return of its original inhabitants and their right to representation in the parliaments in Baku and Stepanakert;
- Karabakh, according to the 1988 borders of the Nagorno-Karabakh Oblast, remains within Azerbaijan's territory, but with the highest status of autonomy, its own parliament, its own constitution, flag and national symbols. Azerbaijan's Constitution is amended to reflect these rights and Azeri decrees and laws would be in force in Karabakh only if they do not conflict with Karabakh's constitution and laws;
- Nagorno-Karabakh has the right to establish direct relations with foreign states and international organizations in matters concerning economic, scientific, cultural, sporting and humanitarian areas;
- Nagorno-Karabakh's population appoints representatives to Azerbaijan's parliament;
- Nagorno-Karabakh's population is regarded as Azerbaijani citizens with a special status and has the right to emigrate to Armenia, after which they may become Armenian citizens.
This proposal was eventually accepted by the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan, but was rejected by the government of Nagorno-Karabakh, mainly because it meant, more or less, a return to the same position as in Soviet times.
106) For the full text see Minsk Group Proposal ('package deal'), Conciliation Resources; http://www.cr.org/our-work/accord/nagorny-karabakh/keytexts18.php