Armenia has fulfilled its obligations under Article 8 of the November 9 agreement and has returned all Azerbaijani prisoners of war, including the two people convicted for the murder of a minor in 2014, Armenia’s foreign ministry spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan said Friday.
“The growing pressure on Azerbaijan from various countries and international organizations shows that a consensus is being formed in the international community on the need for the immediate repatriation of Armenian prisoners of war and hostages according to the requirements of international humanitarian law,” she said.
The comments come after the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs issued a statement on May 5, urging “the sides” to fully and expeditiously complete the exchange process for all prisoners, detainees, and remains, and to respect their obligations to ensure the humane treatment of detainees.
A similar call to “both sides” to return POWs was made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who in welcoming the return of three Armenian POWs, once again, chose not to directly hold Azerbaijan responsible for keeping more than 200 Armenian captives.
The U.S. welcomes Azerbaijan’s release of three Armenian detainees. We call on both parties to fully and expeditiously complete the exchange process for all prisoners, detainees, and remains, and to respect their obligations to ensure the humane treatment of detainees.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) May 5, 2021
Naghdalyan also responded to Azerbaijani accusations alleging that Armenia is withholding information about missing persons from the first Artsakh, as well as the location of mines in Artsakh.
“In light of growing international pressure Azerbaijan is trying to bring forward a fake agenda, seeking an excuse for its own failure to meets its commitments,” said Naghdalyan. “Armenia is always ready to cooperate with international partners in solving humanitarian problems.”