Azerbaijan to continue efforts to release hostages taken by Armenia
Baku, Azerbaijan, July 23
By Elchin Mehdiyev, Azad Hasanli – Trend:
Azerbaijan will continue diplomatic and political efforts to release Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev, who were taken hostage by Armenians, Spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmet Hajiyev said at a press conference in Baku on July 23.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov addressed the UN Secretary General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in connection with Asgarov and Guliyev.
“This issue was brought to the attention of the international community,” Hajiyev added.
During an operation in July 2014 in the Shaplar village of Azerbaijani Kalbajar district, occupied by Armenia, the Armenian special forces killed an Azerbaijani, Hasan Hasanov, and took hostage two other Azerbaijanis, Shahbaz Guliyev and Dilgam Asgarov. A "criminal case" was initiated against them. Afterwards, a "court" sentenced Asgarov to life imprisonment and Guliyev to 22 years in prison.
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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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