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PACE co-rapporteur urges Azerbaijan not to trade over issue of Armenian POWs

21-04-2021, 14:22 Region
PACE co-rapporteur urges Azerbaijan not to trade over issue of Armenian POWs


21 April 2021, 14:22 - NovostiNK
At the PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) debate on the issue of Armenian prisoners of war (POWs) and other captives in Azerbaijan on Tuesday, Austrian MP, PACE co-rapporteur for Azerbaijan Stefan Schennach urged Baku to return Armenian POWs.

“We should not use this forum to raise the issue of conflicts, but should respect the ceasefire. There have been POW swap between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The woman from Lebanon [referring to Maral Najarian] has been released, but there are still missing people, there are many servicemen who are still being held in Azerbaijan as POWs,” Schennach said.

He called for efforts towards reconciliation after 30 years of bloody war, urging Azerbaijan not to trade over the issue of POWs.

“I call on Azerbaijan, let’s not trade over the issue whether the servicemen were taken captive before or after the war. They must be returned home without ifs and buts,” Schennach said.

If there are war crimes allegations, according to Shenakh, there are international structures to deal with them.

"The drama of Nagorno-Karabakh will not end so long as there are prisoners of war," French MP Alexandra Louis said at the discussion.

She referred to the tripartite statement that all the prisoners and prisoners of war must be returned, stating that Armenia respected it, while Azerbaijan did not. More than 200 Armenian prisoners are being held in Azerbaijan in violation of the UN Convention.

"It’s noteworthy to remind that there is a principle that arrests after hostilities are illegal. These people are prisoners of war and must be repatriated," the deputy said.

She also denounced the inhuman treatment of Armenian POWs in Azerbaijan, calling it a war crime.

"The opening of the military trophy park further intensifies the atmosphere of hatred and enmity," the MP said.


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