PM Pashinyan tells CIS summit Azerbaijan refuses to return Armenian POWs
YEREVAN, OCTOBER 15, ARMENPRESS. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan again noted that Azerbaijan hasn’t yet implemented the terms of the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh ceasefire agreement on returning POWs.
“This is a purely humanitarian issue and we express hope that the issue will be solved swiftly. In this context we’d like to assure that Armenia is ready to complete the process of providing the minefield maps to Azerbaijan, which are located behind Azerbaijani military lines and pose humanitarian danger,” Pashinyan said in his speech at the CIS summit.
He noted that there are some other factors which negatively impact the already tense situation in the region. The Armenian PM reminded the CIS leaders about the so-called “military-trophy park” which Azerbaijan opened in Baku. “They had the practice where the visitors would ‘admire’ the mannequins depicting captured, killed Armenian soldiers. They’d organize trips for school children, who would then post their selfies with the mannequins in social media,” PM Pashinyan said.
He stressed that Armenia is ready to start the delimitation and demarcation process with Azerbaijan, which is needed to achieve sustainable peace in the region. Pashinyan said Armenia expects support from Russia and other partners in this process.
“It is difficult to imagine the delimitation and demarcation works at the borders which Azerbaijan violated recently, where shootings happen regularly. Particularly, I am talking about the part of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan which passes in the Sotk-Khoznavar section. We’ve numerously proposed to implement a [reciprocal] pullback of military units, given that the borderline between Armenia and Azerbaijan is de jure substantiated and defined under Soviet maps. Russian border guards or international observers can be deployed at this part of the border. This plan has Russia’s support, and we await the resumption of works in this direction. Dear partners, of course the main issue remains the signing of a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan. For this we attach importance to the restoration of the negotiations process within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs,” the Armenian PM said, adding that the co-chairs have recently stressed on many occasions the necessity for restoring negotiations aimed at the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement. Pashinyan said the upcoming visit of the Co-Chairs to the region, including to Artsakh, will be an important step.
“I’d like to underscore once more that Armenia is ready to work in all directions I just mentioned. We are sure that the implementation of all these issues will ensure significant progress for regional peace. And I’d like to note that the start of dialogue with Turkey aimed at normalization of relations is another factor which could play the role of a catalyst. In this context I will note that the Russian Federation has expressed willingness to fully support this process,” Prime Minister Pashinyan said.
Editing and Translating by Stepan Kocharyan