Armenian Military ‘Committed’ To POW Swap Agreement

STEPANAKERT (RFE/RL)–Armenia will abide by the agreement reached with Azerbaijan regarding the exchange of prisoners of war and the bodies of people killed as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, according to the country’s Defense Ministry.

The Ministry’s spokesman David Karapetian informed RFE/RL’s Armenian service on Friday that Armenia holds two Azeri prisoners of war, while the number of Armenian prisoners of war in Azerbaijan is six.

He said the exchange process is still at its early stages, but added: “The Armenian side is committed to the agreement reached by the presidents and will do everything depending on it to see this agreement implemented.”

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hosted the latest round of talks between Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Astrakhan, southern Russia, on Wednesday. The meeting resulted in a declaration in which the sides agreed on the need for confidence-building measures, including an exchange of prisoners of war and human remains “with the assistance of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Minsk Group co-chairs and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).”

Ashot Astabatsian, a spokesman for the ICRC Yerevan office, also confirmed to RFE/RL’s Armenian service that the number of prisoners of war held by Armenia and Azerbaijan is two and six, respectively.

He said additionally Armenia holds one Azeri civilian and Azerbaijan holds a five-member Armenian family. The ICRC representative declined to give names, citing the confidential nature of the information.

He added only that the sides also hold the bodies of three people that have not been repatriated yet.

“As an organization that has a neutral mediator’s status we are always ready to carry out such operations, including the repatriation of bodies,” said Astabatsian.

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9 Comments

  1. Harout Nikoghossian said:

    You should not make stupid comments like this karod. Its still in the early stage, comments like this makes the enemy more patriotic and cause more tension. This might bring peace in the region.

    • Paul said:

      Harout, respectfully the enemy snipers are killing our soldiers on almost daily bases and at this point one has to be strong and answer back with fire. It almost sounds like you want to pray while the enemy is cutting our throats, enough of this being scared. WE SHALL KILL EVERYONE WHO WISHES HARM UPON US!!!!!

      GOD BLESS ARMENIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Karod 5 said:

      Harout, I know our enemy better than you do.. As long as their snipers keep taking our brothers lives, they deserve to die..and don’t be so naive about SH.. like this will bring peace in the region.

  2. harry said:

    There comes a point when you have to understand that your neighbor wants your destruction. We cannot live in peace with this people my brother. How can you get peace if they want war? Freedom is not free. They really want us to get Naxichevan in case of any major hostilities.

  3. Z said:

    The meeting is astraxan and the agreement was a str8 disgrace 4 Armenia. They have to give the body of the deversionist who killed 4 armenian and so is a hero for them. That should never happen. Str8 disgrace. Plus aliyev had good time out there, inaugurating a statue of his father. Armenia should never go there, and never accept to give to body of a criminal that they want 2 worship.

  4. Garo said:

    I agree with “Z”. The coward they call as hero is a coward and a murderer for us. If we gave them the body they would worship him (since they have lack of heroes), and start the propaganda in their country to boost up their morals. On the other hand by not giving the body, this would seem bad in the international arena for us. We should show the world, that we want peace, and we do not provoke, however the world and especially the azeris (along with turks) have to know that they’ve got it wrong if they think we are scared from any attack, and must feel constantly the Armenian fist on their faces. Its not in our DNA as a race to be scared to fight for our rights.

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