PM highlights difference between saboteur and accidental trespasser in exchanging prisoners kept in Armenia, Azerbaijan
YEREVAN, MARCH 19, ARMENPRESS. Armenia is ready to exchange Azerbaijanis who appeared in its territory with Armenians who appeared in Azerbaijani territory, however this swap cannot happen in case of the people who have trespassed from Azerbaijan committed murders, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at a news conference when asked about the likelihood of an exchange at the “all for all principle”.
“This is constantly in the dimension of our discussions. In the past there was a practice when both Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh were bound to return people who were lost and trespassed the border within a week. And this practice has always been carried out. It wasn’t done when the infamous case took place when armed Azerbaijanis entered our territory and committed murders,” Pashinyan said. He stressed that convicted murderers cannot simply be exchanged with lost accidental trespassers.
“We are ready to exchange people who got lost with people who got lost. Now we have a lost citizen there, who they claim to be a saboteur, who got sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Now, a citizen has trespassed from their side, an investigation will determine whether he is a saboteur or a lost citizen. We are ready to consider exchange for those whose actions did not lead to anyone getting killed or hurt,” the PM said.
“If we are exchanging someone we must take into account the opinion of the family of the victim that he killed”.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan
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