YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Ministry of National Security of Armenia refuted the statement of the press service of the Ministry of National Security of Azerbaijan that several hundred Azeri POWs and hostages are kept in Armenia. The statement of the Ministry of National Security of Armenia’says that the lies and falsification of the facts in the Azeri mass media are intensified each time a POW is released. All the anti-Armenian propaganda is spread by the press service of the Azerbaijanian Ministry of National Security and by the State Commission for POWs–Hostages and Missing Persons.
The statement of the Armenian Ministry of National Security points out that "unlike the Azeri side–Armenia’s do not invade the Azeri territory for the purpose of taking hostages for further sale." On the contrary–the Ministry of National Security of Armenia has at its disposal serious and irrefutable proofs of the "falseness of the statemen’s made by the Azeri authorities that there are no Armenian POWs and hostages in Azerbaijan are concealed from the International Committee of Red Cross–OSCE–and other international organizations." The Armenian Ministry of National Security has at its disposal facts that after the information on the location of Armenian citizens in Azerbaijan was received by the Azeri authorities–the traces of the Armenian prisoners disappeared.
Regarding Azeri POWs–their delayed stay in Armenia is accounted for by their unwillingness to return to Azerbaijan. It is the Armenian side that–with the assistance of international humanitarian organizations–as well as Armenian and Azeri human rights organizations–persuades the Azeri POWs to reconsider their decisions not to return to Azerbaijan.
The Ministry of National Security of Armenia deman’s the Azeri side to stop making attempts to involve Armenia in the propaganda warfare–speculating in the fates of the POWs and hostages–and urges it to start a constructive cooperation.
The statement contains an appeal to the Azeri colleagues to display goodwill to cooperation and pay attention to the numerous proposals of the Armenian Ministry of National Security.