Ankara Welcomes Armenian-Azeri POW Deal

ANKARA (Today’s Zaman)—The Turkish Foreign Ministry has welcomed the results of a trilateral meeting hosted last week by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, at which the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to exchange prisoners of war and the bodies of people killed as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“Turkey hopes that the Astrahan summit will make a positive contribution to the resolution process via accelerating efforts for the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute; within this framework, it hopes that steps to be taken in humanitarian field will be supported and strengthened via similar measures to be improved in other fields,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement released on Sunday.

The latest round of talks held between Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev in the Russian city of Astrahan through Medvedev’s initiative resulted in a joint declaration in which the sides agreed on the need for confidence-building measures, including a prisoners of war and human remains swap “with the assistance of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group co-chairs and the International Committee of the Red Cross.”

At the end of the meeting, Medvedev said he hoped Baku and Yerevan could agree on the principles of a long-awaited peace deal for the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh by early December.

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