Azerbaijan delivers note to Hungary (UPDATE)

Details were added after the first paragraph (the first version posted at 17:31)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 6 / Trend S.Aghayeva /

Azerbaijan has delivered to Hungary a note which stated that Ramil Safarov was released in accordance with Azerbaijani legislation and international norms, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Elman Abdullayev said at a briefing on Thursday.

The note, according to the spokesman, also noted that the country's constitution gives the president of Azerbaijan exclusive right to pardon.

"Procedure for transfer and pardon of Safarov was made in accordance with Azerbaijani and international law," Abdullayev said.

He said Safarov's matter should be considered in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as Safarov witnessed ethnic cleansing by Armenia against the Azerbaijani population.

Azerbaijani officer Ramil Safarov, who was convicted in Hungary, returned to Azerbaijan on Aug. 31. The same day, under an order of the head of state, he was pardoned.

Ramil Safarov was born on August 25, 1977 in the Jabrail region of Azerbaijan. Safarov 34, who participated in NATO exercises in 2004 in Hungary, was charged with the murder of Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan, who insulted the Azerbaijani flag. As the result of the verdict by the Budapest court, Safarov was sentenced to life imprisonment without the right of pardon during 30 years.

Immediately after the Azerbaijani officer's release, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan announced that Armenia suspends diplomatic relations and all official contacts with Hungary.

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.

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