Armenia’s caretaker FM raises POW issue during meeting with Russian counterpart in Yerevan
YEREVAN, MAY 6, ARMENPRESS. During an extended-format meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Yerevan, Armenia’s caretaker foreign minister Ara Aivazian has raised the issue of ensuring the return of all prisoners of war and hostage-taken civilians from Azerbaijan, the Armenian MFA told Armenpress.
Armenpress presents Mr. Aivazian’s remarks at the meeting:
“Dear Mr. Lavrov,
I am happy to welcome you in Yerevan. Your visit is a good occasion to continue discussing broad range of issues relating to the Armenian-Russian inter-state dialogue. I hope we will discuss more relevant issues of the bilateral agenda, which are of strategic direction.
The allied nature of mutual partnership between Armenia and Russia predicts the framework of matters which we address jointly for the benefit of further strengthening of the friendship between our peoples and the development of our countries under the conditions of security, peace and stability.
The active political dialogue and the broad foreign political coordination, the large-scale legal framework, which regulates the partnership of our countries in all areas, including in the defense field, create all the necessary conditions for the success of joint efforts. We are interested in promoting the bilateral relations through the comprehensive activity of mechanisms such as the inter-governmental commission for economic cooperation, the inter-parliamentary committee and the military-technical cooperation commission.
During your visit we started the discussions on the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and will continue those discussions during the day. In this context the creation of conditions for the resumption of the peace process under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, in the person of Russia, France and the US, which have a mediation mandate, is important.
The most important issue is to ensure the return of all prisoners of war and hostage-taken civilians by Azerbaijan. And this issue must be solved as quickly as possible, which is evidenced by numerous facts of continuous mass violations of international humanitarian law. The creation of elementary conditions for the return of displaced persons to their settlements, the provision of humanitarian aid to the population and the restoration of Artsakh’s economy are also an urgent matter. The preservation of the historical and cultural heritage which has come under the Azerbaijani control is also a very relevant issue. I am sure today we will exchange views on our future actions, including the unblocking of transportation communications as envisaged by the January 11 statement.
We will also touch upon the latest regional developments, also in the context of pushing forward the interests and countering the common threats.
We will also discuss the cooperation in the format of multilateral and integration unions. Being a key sector for inter-state cooperation, it also includes additional opportunities and advantages for the development of the Armenian-Russian relations. As you see, the topics for discussions are quite broad and substantial. Therefore, I once again welcome you in Yerevan”.
Editing and Translating by Aneta Harutyunyan