Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4
By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:
Armenian citizen Khojayan Mamika Tigranovich, who was arrested on Jan. 28 while attempting to cross the contact line of Armenian and Azerbaijani troops, was returned to his own country on March 4, secretary of Azerbaijani State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons, Shahin Sailov told Trend.
He said Khojayan Mamika Tigranovich was handed over to Armenia with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
ICRC later said that Khojayan Mamika was placed in the Armenian officials' care on the road between Azerbaijani town of Gazakh and Armenian town of Ijevan, at the international border.
"ICRC delegates had visited the man prior to his repatriation in order to assess the conditions in which he was being held and the treatment he received. Representatives of the organization had also been in contact with his family in Armenia," the committee said. "Acting as a neutral intermediary and in accordance with its mandate, the ICRC facilitated this repatriation in conjunction with the Azerbaijani and Armenian authorities".
It should be noted that Khojayan Mamika was detained on Jan. 28 while trying to cross a river in the Alibayli village of Azerbaijan's Tovuz district.
On the basis of its mandate under the Geneva Conventions, the ICRC has been working in the region since 1992 in connection with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Translated by E.A.
Edited by C.N.