EU keeps issue of captured Azerbaijanis in Karabakh on agenda
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 24
By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:
The EU disapproves of any actions and developments that create and/or contribute to tensions, and undermine the efforts toward peaceful and negotiated settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, facilitated by the Minsk Group and its co-chairs, Maya Kosyanchich, the spokesperson for the European commissioner for enlargement and European neighbourhood policy told Trend Feb. 24.
Kosyanchich was commenting on the EU's stance on the unlawful conviction of two Azerbaijanis by the separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh.
"The EU underscores the obligations under international humanitarian law, in particular with regard to civilians and treatment of persons taken into custody during times of conflict," she said.
Kosyanchich added that most recently, the heads of delegations of the Minsk Group co-chair countries in their statement, issued Dec. 4, 2014 at the OSCE Basel Ministerial Council called on the sides "to settle humanitarian issues in the spirit of the Astrakhan statement of October 2010 of the presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation."
During an operation in the Shaplar village of Azerbaijan's occupied Kalbajar district on July 11, 2014 the Armenian forces killed an Azerbaijani, Hasan Hasanov, and detained two other Azerbaijanis, Shahbaz Guliyev and Dilgam Asgarov. A criminal case was filed against them.
Afterwards, the so-called court in Nagorno-Karabakh sentenced Asgarov to life imprisonment and Guliyev to 22 years in prison.
"Issues, relating to Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev have been addressed at meetings of EU representatives with Azerbaijani and Armenian officials," Kosyanchich said. "The case has been discussed with the International Committee of the Red Cross, who have visited them several times."
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan 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 US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
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