Interim Status Issue In The Nagorno - Karabakh Conflict
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Interim Status Issue In the Nagorno  -  karabakh Conflict

The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict is an armed conflict that began in 1988 in the small enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in southwestern Azerbaijan, between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan. This conflict is one of the man obstacles of maintennance of the peace and security in Caucasus region and barrier for the regional integration and development. Since 1992-1994 the OSCE Minsk Group supervises the resolution of the conflict and has come up with several proposals for a political solution. The key proposals of the OSCE Minsk Group are: the withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the adjacent regions, thus the demilitarization of the conflict zones; the deployment of international peacekeepers; the return of internally displaced persons; a referendum over the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, and interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh until the referendum is held.

Interim status for the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is one of the main issues of the Madrid Principles proposed by the OSCE Minsk Group in the process of resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict. One of the main problems of this proposal is that in the so-called Madrid Principles there are no details of the interim status and what it would look like. Based on the statements of OSCE Minsk Group and wider academic discussions, including experts analysis – interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh is some kind of form of an autonomous self-governing entity that would not be internationally recognized as a state or other kind of formal territory, that would nonetheless possess the ability to function and be governed by the people residing on that territory until the referendum is held to determine the final status (also a OSCE Minsk Group proposal).

Interim Status has two dimensions: internal and external. Both of which can be divided into certain amount of issues. These issues may prove to be both problematic and solvable in the context of their negotiations, however the list is not exhaustive and some other issues are still to be determined.

Internal dimensions of the status:

• Standards (Human rights, democracy, accessibility of powers, sustainable development, rule of law, etc.)

• Legitimacy (elections, fair and effective representation of the communities, non-discrimination)

• Freedom of movement (between Karabakh, Azerbaijan and Armenia)

• Right of return (IDPs)

• Market economy (free trade, economic development, etc.)

• Property title (who can own the property)

• Internal security issues

External dimensions of status:

• Relations between international community (outside world) and Karabakh (when to grant such access and to what extent)

• Relations between Karabakh and Armenia and Azerbaijan (defining the involvement)

• Relations between Karabakh and International Organizations (standards and infrastructure development)

• Foreign economic relations

• External security (security guarantees, parties to the security, “demographic security” etc.)

• IDPs and refugees issues

• Territorial questions

• Ad hoc structures (substitutes for international institutions)

All of these legal issues must be addressed in order to get a full picture of the interim status and related problems. Other issues can be added accordingly. In any case the interim status of Karabakh will be key to finding the solution for this conflict that long awaits its resolution. Otherwise it will continue to pose a threat to international peace and security as current situations in Syria and Iran.


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