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 Friday, June 21 2024 17:55
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Azerbaijani MFA responds to EU High Rep`s statement 

Azerbaijani MFA responds to EU High Rep`s statement 

ArmInfo.Unfortunately, this response is yet another attempt by the EU High Representative to satisfy Armenians and make claims that have no moral or factual basis, and Azerbaijan denies these false and inflammatory allegations, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry declared this in response to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the EU Commission Josep Borrell's questions  to the European Parliament members about "Armenian prisoners," Trend reports.

"After the 2020 war, as a humanitarian gesture and following its  obligations under international humanitarian law, Azerbaijan released  and repatriated more than 200 Armenians considered prisoners of war  or detainees. All Armenian prisoners of war and civilians held in  Azerbaijan were treated following the requirements of the Geneva  Conventions of 1949 and were not subjected to torture, humiliation,  or inhuman treatment.

Each of them had been provided with medical care while under arrest,  they had undergone examinations, and the ICRC had held regular  meetings with them and ensured contact with their families.  Nevertheless, after they were returned from Azerbaijan to Armenia,  some of these persons were arrested and interrogated by the Armenian  authorities.

The remaining imprisoned war criminals, separatist leaders, and other  persons of Armenian origin are either accused of war crimes, ethnic  cleansing, military aggression, torture, and other serious crimes,  have already been convicted of these crimes, or are still under  investigation.

Following the Geneva Conventions, as well as international and  national legislation in general, Azerbaijan has rights and  obligations to investigate and prosecute such crimes. Such arrests  have a full legal basis and do not infringe on the rights of the  detainees.

Even if the detainees are prisoners of war, under Geneva Convention  III, prisoners of war who are prosecuted for an offense for which  they may be charged may be detained until a trial such as this one is  completed and, if appropriate, until the completion of their  sentence.

Furthermore, it would be more appropriate to draw the EU's attention  to the evidence of the Armenian side's ill-treatment of Azerbaijani  prisoners of war and civilian detainees, as well as missing  Azerbaijanis.  Since the beginning of Armenia's military aggression,  more than 3,890 Azerbaijanis have gone missing, and their fate  remains unknown. Out of the missing, 3,171 are military personnel,  and 719 (including 71 children, 267 women, and 326 elderly) are  civilians.

Regarding comments on ensuring the rights of Armenians resettled in  Armenia and other countries, it is important to recall that despite  Azerbaijan's appeal for reintegration, program, and steps in this  direction, local persons of Armenian origin have decided to leave  Azerbaijan and not return.

Unfortunately, in almost 30 years, we have not witnessed any concerns  or appeals from the EU regarding the rights of the nearly one million  Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons who were  forcibly and ruthlessly evicted from their homes.

Azerbaijan expects that at this crucial moment, the EU will refrain  from biased statements undermining peace efforts in the region," the  statement reads.

In his statement on the latest developments Josep Borrell said:

"The European Union welcomes the actions taken by Armenia and  Azerbaijan and facilitated by Georgia that led to the release by  Azerbaijan of 15 Armenian detainees and the handing over by Armenia  of maps of mined areas on Saturday.

"These are important humanitarian and confidence building gestures by  Baku and Yerevan that will hopefully open the path for further  cooperation between the sides and the ultimate release of all  Armenian detainees, as well as the handing over of all available maps  of mined areas to avoid further civilian casualties. 

"The European Union and other international actors have actively  encouraged moves in this direction and we urge further cooperation  between the countries involved.

"We will continue to promote a durable and comprehensive settlement  of the conflict, including where possible through support for  stabilisation, post conflict rehabilitation and confidence building  measures and reiterate our call on Armenia and Azerbaijan to reengage  in substantive negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk  Group Co-Chairs."

 

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