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Artsakh MFA: There are neither prisoners of war nor hostages in Artsakh to date

4-05-2019, 13:01 Region » Karabakh
Artsakh MFA: There are neither prisoners of war nor hostages in Artsakh to date

4 May 2019, 13:01 - NovostiNK
Artsakh foreign ministry commented on Friday Russian FM Sergey Lavrov’s recent statement about the exchange of prisoners on the principle of "all for all" in the conflict zones, including in Nagorno Karabakh which may contribute to confidence-building in the conflict.

At the request of Tert.am to clarify whether the exchange on the principle of “all for all” is possible, taking into account the fact that there are two Azerbaijani saboteurs convicted of committing grave crimes in Artsakh, and there are citizens of Armenia and Artsakh kept hostage in Azerbaijan, the ministry has said: “During the years of the interstate conflict between the Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan, with the consent of official Stepanakert, there were cases of mutual release of prisoners of war and hostages on the principle of "all for all". As an example, we can note that in May 1996, at the initiative of the Russian side, Artsakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan carried out an exchange of prisoners of war and hostages on the principle of “all for all”. Artsakh and Armenia handed over 71 people to Azerbaijan, and the Azerbaijani side handed over 39 people to Armenia.”

The ministry noted that during the years following the exchange on the principle of "all for all" in May 1996, the Azerbaijani servicemen, who were taken prisoner as well as the civilians, who accidentally crossed the border, upon their consent and through the mediation of the ICRC were unilaterally handed over to Azerbaijani side by Artsakh authorities.

“Since there are neither prisoners of war nor hostages in Artsakh to date, Stepanakert is not the addressee of this proposal. We are deeply convinced that the issue of prisoners of war and hostages must be resolved strictly in line with the norms of international humanitarian law. The principle of “exchange of all for all” proposed by the Azerbaijani side is an artificial agenda created by Baku in violation of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols,” the statement concluded.



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