CSTO meeting: Pashinyan highlights need to resolve POW exchange issue
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 2, ARMENPRESS. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, speaking to his CSTO-member state counterparts during an online meeting, highlighted the need for a quick resolution of the issue of exchanging POWs and the bodied of those killed in the Second Nagorno Karabakh war.
“The last two months became a period of resisting aggression for the Armenian people,” Pashinyan said. “Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey and terrorist mercenaries from Middle Eastern countries, unleashed war against the Armenian people. With the efforts of the Russian Federation it was possible to stop the war operations and agree around the terms of de-escalating the situation. It’s already more than three weeks since the military operations stopped. Russian peacekeepers are deployed in the conflict zone. However, as of today we still have a number of urgent problems. First of all it is the exchange of prisoners of war, other detained persons, as well as the bodies of the victims and the discovery of the fates of those missing in action. The Armenian side is ready to intensify its actions to accelerate this process and increase its effectiveness,” Pashinyan said.
The Armenian PM noted that at the same time it is necessary to rule out humiliation and cases of violence against POWs and other detained persons.
“Second of all, it’s the return of the people of Nagorno Karabakh to their homes, the restoration of normal life in Nagorno Karabakh. People must be sure that they are safe and they can continue to live on their land. Tens of thousands of Artsakhis have already returned to their homes, and we make every effort to help and support our compatriots. It is necessary to take steps to protect the religious and cultural monuments of the Armenian people which are located in territories under the control of the Azerbaijani troops,” the PM said.
He also highlighted the unblocking of economic and transport links in the region.
“These are necessary for establishing long-term peace in the region. The Russian peacekeeping mission deployed in Nagorno Karabakh is today the guarantor of security and peace in the region,” Pashinyan said, highlighting President Putin’s mediation efforts in stopping the war.
Editing and Translating by Stepan Kocharyan