Armenia’s Social Democrat Hunchakian Party is condeming the U.S. State Department’s call for the Artsakh authorities to release and transfer two Azeri saboteurs to Azerbaijan. SDHP consider this request as another policy of double standards aimed at Armenia and Artsakh.
The United States reiterated its call for the release of two Azeri nationals, Dilham Askerov and Shahbaz Quliyev, who were convicted last year on charges that include the murder of a teenager.
“We have previously advocated through Ambassador Warlick and others the release of these two prisoners to the Government of Azerbaijan,” Spokesperson for the Department of State Jen Psaki said at daily briefing on Feb. 23.
She expressed that during the recent visit to the region, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland also urged relevant authorities to return the two prisoners to the Government of Azerbaijan. Last week senior members of the NKR government effectively ruled out the release of Dilham Askerov and Shahbaz Quliyev, in spite of an appeal for the kind of “humanitarian gesture” made by Nuland.
The SDHP reaffirmed that “the arrested saboteurs killed two innocent civilians and seriously wounded another.” At the same time, the Republic of Artsakh conducted an open and transparent trial, resulting in the saboteurs receiving a punishment worthy of their crimes. In addition, let us not fail to remember Hungary’s extradition of convicted Azeri murderer Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan, which resulted in immediate release and was proclaimed an Azeri “national hero” shortly thereafter.
The Social Democrat Hunchakian Party also believes Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is acting ineffectively by remaining silent on the matter and not responding to the statements made by the two U.S. Department of State officials. The SDHP proclaims “in general, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of a country in war has to be more courageous and resourceful. On several occasions, different members of the SDHP have asserted that the silence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in such cases, is simply incomprehensible and may be even considered cowardice.”