Nikol Pashinyan. Photo: © Sputnik / Asatur Yesayants,

21 November 2018, 13:41

Armenian authorities refuse to exchange prisoners with Azerbaijan

On November 20, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan found the idea of exchanging Armenian citizens caught in the Azerbaijani captivity inappropriate and holding protest actions with the demand to release prisoners ‑ senseless.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on July 15, the Ministry of Defene (MoD) for Azerbaijan reported "the prevention of sabotage and capture of intelligence agent Karen Gazaryan in the Gazakh District." On November 17-19, residents of Armenia held thrice come to protest actions with the demand to return Karen Gazaryan home. On November 19, the protesters handed over to the authorities a letter with an appeal written by parents of Karen Gazaryan and addressed to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. In their appeal, the parents of the captured man also raised the problem of Arsen Bagdasaryan and Zaven Karapetyan, other two Armenian war prisoners in Azerbaijan.

On November 20, at a press conference, Nikol Pashinyan stated that the protest actions held by residents of Berdavan as a way of actualizing the problem "did not make sense." The Armenian Prime Minister has noted the issue has been relevant, "but the solution of the problem should be in the interests of Armenia."

Nikol Pashinyan has specified that he got the letter written by the Karen Gazaryan's parents and is ready to meet them to discuss the issues relating to the return of the Armenian citizen to his homeland.

The Armenian Prime Minister has also criticized the idea of exchanging prisoners on the principle of "all for all." "In [Nagorny] Karabakh, two Azerbaijanis are serving their sentences. One Azerbaijani was sentenced to life imprisonment, while the other ‑ to 22 years of imprisonment. Are we to exchange those two for our civilians? And will we not be condemned for that act tomorrow?" said the head of the government as quoted by the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on November 21, 2018 at 10:52 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Armine Martirosyan; Source: CK correspondent

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