September 14, 2021 – 18:17 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net – Slovakia’s Foreign Ministry Ivan Korčok has urged the return of Armenian prisoners of war and civilians captured by Azerbaijan during and after the Second Karabakh War in late 2020.
Addressing the media in Armenia, Korčok also called for creating conditions for demining the areas in order to avoid more loss of life.
“We strongly urge the sides to refrain from any action that could potentially escalate the situation and to fully implement the commitments made in the November 9 statement,” Korčok told a joint press conference with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan on Tuesday, September 14.
“Every conflict leads to the suffering of ordinary people who want to live in peace. If there is a will and determination to achieve peace, then any conflict can be resolved.”
As a member of the European Union, Slovakia continues supporting the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group in achieving a lasting settlement, the Sloval diplomat added.
Azerbaijan is refusing to return all Armenian prisoners of war, in violation of the statement on the cessation of hostilities signed by the parties in November 2020. The Armenian side has information about some 200 Armenians still in Azerbaijan’s captivity, but Azeri President Ilham Aliyev claims that persons being kept in Baku are not PoWs, but “terrorists and saboteurs”. At least 19 of the hundreds of Armenian captives have been tortured and killed, according to their lawyers.