ICRC facilitates handover of Azerbaijani citizen
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 11
An Azerbaijani citizen who crossed the Line of Contact on 5 September 2014 was handed over to the Azerbaijani government today in an operation carried out under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The handover took place at the Line of Contact near the village of Bash Garvand in the Aghdam district of Azerbaijan.
When ICRC delegates visited the person prior to his transfer to assess the conditions in which he was being held and the treatment he received, he confirmed to them that he was returning of his own will. Representatives of the ICRC were also in contact with his family.
The minor resident was taken hostage by separatists near the village of Chayli in the Tartar 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 Nagorny Karabakh conflict.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries 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 four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.