Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Aivazian says Armenia has returned all Azerbaijani captives pursuant to the “all for all” principle enshrined in the 2020 November 9 Karabakh armistice, but Azerbaijan is creating “artificial and ungrounded” obstacles and is refusing to return the Armenian servicemen and civilians held in their custody as PoWs.
“The Azerbaijani side is manipulating the list of Armenian captives and is refusing to accept the fact that it is holding Armenian servicemen and civilians captive. Moreover, Baku is initiating fake criminal proceedings on fabricated charges against several prisoners of war. Azerbaijan’s behavior not only contradicts the norms of international law, but is also a breach of the trilateral statement,” Aivazian said, referring to the Karabakh armistice, officially known as the Statement by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and President of the Russian Federation signed overnight November 9-10, 2020.
The immediate and safe repatriation of all Armenian captives is a priority, he said.
Aivazian praised Russia’s efforts as a responsible and unbiased mediator in this regard. “It was possible to return a part of the Armenian captives thanks to joint efforts.”
Aivazian said that Azerbaijan’s delaying of returning the POWs is also a challenge for Russia, as the guarantor of the trilateral statement, as well as for the entire international community.