Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   10 December

Australia disappointed about Safarov extradition

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 28, ARMENPRESS:The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has added its voice in the international condemnation and criticism of Azerbaijan’s pardon of convicted axe-murderer Ramil Safarov, reports Armenpress citing Armenian National Committee of Australia.  In late August 2012, Hungarian authorities extradited Safarov back to Azerbaijan after receiving ''assurances'' from Baku that he would serve the remainder of his sentence in Azerbaijan. However, upon his return to Baku, Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev pardoned Safarov, and he is now being hailed as a national hero. In a letter received by the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) in response to a formal request for comment by Foreign Minister Bob Carr, his department DFAT stated: "The Australian Government is disappointed by the decision of President Aliyev to pardon Safarov." DFAT noted that this issue occurred against the backdrop of the Narogno-Karabakh conflict and that ''Azerbaijan's actions have the potential to undermine the ongoing mediation process under the OSCE Minsk Group.'' ANC Australia Executive Director Vache Kahramanian welcomed the Australian government's statement. He said: "We welcome the Australian government’s response to this important issue. Today Azerbaijan is a country that continues to act as an aggressor towards Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. It is therefore important for the international community to raise its voice and condemn such actions."

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