YEREVAN, March 16. /ARKA/. On March 16, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Artsakh David Babayan, who is on a working visit to Armenia, met in Yerevan with the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde.
Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Artsakh in the Republic of Armenia Sergey Ghazaryan and other officials participated in the meeting.
During the meeting, issues related to the settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict were discussed. David Babayan stressed the need to resume the negotiation process under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen with the aim of finding a comprehensive and fair settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict.
David Babayan also briefed the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on the humanitarian consequences of the 44-day war unleashed by Azerbaijan with the support of Turkey and international terrorists against Artsakh.
The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Artsakh called the immediate return of all Armenian prisoners of war and civilians held in Azerbaijan to their homeland an urgent task. David Babayan noted the inadmissibility of using the suffering of people, both those who are in captivity and their relatives, as a political bargaining chip.
The Foreign Minister of Artsakh called on the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office to exert all necessary efforts to ensure that Azerbaijan unquestioningly complies with its obligations under international humanitarian law.
David Babayan expressed hope that the international community would support Artsakh in solving such pressing problems as rendering assistance to those displaced as a result of the war and preserving the Armenian cultural heritage in the territories occupied by Azerbaijan.
So far, 70 Armenians, both civilians and soldiers, and 16 Azerbaijanis have been repatriated from both countries as part of exchanges between the two sides.
Armenia and Azerbaijan earlier agreed to “all for all” swap of POWs. However, more than two months after the fighting stopped, Azerbaijan still holds unknown dozens of Armenian prisoners of war.
The Armenian authorities decline demands to disclose the exact number of Armenian prisoners held in Azerbaijan on the grounds that it is a state secret.
However, according to various sources, there are more than 140 names on the Armenian exchange list. The European Court of Human Rights said it has received requests concerning 228 Armenians held in Azerbaijani captivity.