Azerbaijan’s leadership is willing to return the estimated 200 Armenian prisoners-of-war only if Armenia recognizes that 75% of Artsakh belongs to Azerbaijan, said MP Naira Zohrabyan, Armenia’s representative at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), reports News.am.
Zohrabyan had a 40 minute conversation with Samad Seyidov, the head of the Azerbaijani delegation at PACE in Strasbourg where they discussed the issue of the [Armenian] prisoners -of-war.
Zohrabyan said “to all my arguments that the Armenians in Azerbaijan are prisoners-of-war and that Baku violates international law, the Third Geneva Convention on prisoners-of-war, that Azerbaijan has in fact “spat” on the trilateral statement of November 9 of last year, Seyidov responded that there were no prisoners-of-war in Azerbaijan.”
According to Zohrabyan, Samad Seyidov, the head of the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE had started claiming that the Armenians currently in Baku are “terrorists” because they allegedly committed “terrorist acts” in the territory of Azerbaijan. “He was making a delusion, and suddenly stated that we had deceived them. In his words, the maps handed over to them on the 97,000 [land] mines in the Aghdam region correspond to reality by only 50%, whereas the rest is fake,” added Zohrabyan.
However, Zohrabyan noted, Seyidov said that Baku, as a gesture of goodwill, is ready to discuss the possible return of Armenian captives, but only if the Armenian authorities sign an agreement and recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, which will include 75% of the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) territories that were occupied during the 44-day war last fall. “Until Armenia recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, we must forget about the prisoners-of-war,” said Naira Zohrabyan, quoting the head of the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE. Moreover, she drew attention to the fact that the Armenian side does not have any Azerbaijani prisoners-of-war.
She called on the Europeans to impose sanctions on the family members of the President of Azerbaijan; in particular, on their bank accounts.
MP Naira Zohrabyan, is a member of the outgoing Armenian parliament and of Armenia’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).