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Baku Accused Of Reneging On Pledge To Free Armenian POWs


USA - U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan hosts talks between Armenian and Azerbaijani officials, Washington, September 27, 2022.

Armenia on Monday accused Azerbaijan of reneging on a pledge to release 17 Armenian soldiers taken prisoner last month during two days of heavy fighting on the border between the two countries.

Baku admitted last week holding 17 such prisoners of war. According to Armen Grigorian, the secretary of Armenia’s Security Council, all of them were due to be set free by September 30 under a “tripartite agreement” reached at his September 27 talks with a senior Azerbaijani official hosted by U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Washington.

“Let me make it clear that once again Azerbaijan has not fulfilled its commitments,” Grigorian charged in a Facebook post.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian also accused the Azerbaijani side of refusing to “fulfill its promise to release Armenian POWs.”

The Azerbaijani government did not immediately react to the Armenian claims which came the day after the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers met in Geneva for fresh peace talks.

Earlier on Sunday, Azerbaijani social media users circulated a video that appears to show Azerbaijani troops executing several Armenian soldiers. It caused shock and indignation in Armenia.

The office of Armenia’s human rights ombudsperson concluded shortly afterwards that the video was filmed on September 13 hours after Azerbaijani forces attacked and seized some of the Armenian army positions along the border.

Acting Justice Minister Grigor Minasian reaffirmed on Monday the Armenian government’s plans to take Baku to international courts over the apparent war crime.

“At all costs we will make sure that real international instruments are used apart from statements of condemnation,” he said.

Late last month the authorities in Yerevan accused the Azerbaijani military of killing at least two other Armenian soldiers captured during the September 13-14 hostilities.

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