Sarkisian Meets with Minsk Group Co-Chairmen

Sarkisian hosts OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen

YEREVAN—President Serzh Sarkisian met with the co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group Wednesday to discuss the ongoing talks aimed a resolving the Nagrono-Karabakh conflict, reported the Presidential Press Service.

Bernard Fassier of France, Robert Bradtke of the US and Igor Popov of Russian, who were joined by the Representative of the OSCE Chairman in Office, Andrzej Kasprzyk voiced concern over Azeri allegations that Nagorno-Karabakh forces allegedly shot and killed a nine-year-old boy.

In response, Sarkisian called the allegations “absolute slander,” saying that killing civilians, especially children, went against the moral character of any Armenian soldier. Furthermore, Sarkisian explained to the co-chairmen that the location of the alleged shooting as purported by Azeris would have made it technically impossible for soldier to carry out

The co-chairmen, who met with Aliyev Tuesday, were scheduled to travel to Stepanakert to meet with the leadership of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

Sarkisian reiterated Armenia’s readiness to continue talks, based on a agreements reached on March 5 in Sochi at a summit with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and mediated by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

The aforementioned agreement includes exchange of prisoners of war, an OSCE-led investigation into cease-fire violation at the Line of Contact, taking steps to sensitize the Armenian public about the developments and other confidence-building measures.

In accordance with the March 5 Sochi agreement, on Wednesday a Red Cross spokeswoman said that Armenia has agreed to return one prisoner of war, while Azerbaijan has agreed to return a civilian prisoner.

Ilaha Huseynova, spokeswoman for the Azerbaijani delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross, told APA news agency that thee exchange will be mediated by the Red Cross, with the sides determining the time and place.

 While two Azeri servicemen are known to be held captive by the Armenian side, 12 Armenian prisoners of war remain in Azerbaijan.

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