Friday, February 23, 2024
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PoWs must be returned – French Ambassador to Armenia

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EDITOR'S CHOICE

French Ambassador to Armenia Jonathan Lacôte assures that the Armenian prisoners of war must be returned from Azerbaijan.

“My approach over the prisoners of war is clear and concrete – they must be returned. The process should be carried out not only based on the November 9 statement, but also on the human rights protection as envisaged by the international conventions”, the French Ambassador told reporters in Yerevan.

He said the OSCE Minsk Group remains the only body where discussion, negotiations are possible in terms of giving any diplomatic solution to the issue.

“When we talk about the OSCE Minsk Group, we must understand that we deal with a structure which ensures negotiations, is ready to mediate and help both sides. The Swedish foreign minister [who also serves as OSCE Chairperson-in-Office] has also mentioned the OSCE Minsk Group being as the only mediation body during her visit in Armenia. The Minsk Group Co-Chairs are currently in negotiations in order to conduct a working visit to the region”, Jonathan Lacôte said.

So far, Azerbaijan has returned 69 prisoners of war to Armenia. Recently captured Lebanese-Armenian Maral Najarian has also been released and returned to Beirut. On March 16 Armenian foreign ministry spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan announced that currently active interim measures are being applied against Azerbaijan over the case of 188 Armenian PoWs. Point 8th of the 2020 November 9 statement relates to all prisoners of war and other captured persons.

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