STRASBOURG – Addressing the 133rd Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan reminded the human rights organization about the Karabakh refugees and Armenian prisoners of war, but noted positives in negotiations with Azerbaijan.

Mirzoyan said: ‘In September 2023, after 9 months of blockade, the world witnessed the forcible displacement of the indigenous Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh as a result of Azerbaijan’s military attack on the region, as documented by the Commissioner for Human Rights after her fact-finding visit in October 2023.

With the help of the international community, the Armenian Government has taken necessary measures to meet the short-term needs of the refugees. Another pressing humanitarian issue remains the issue of the release of all Armenian prisoners of war and civilians illegally detained in Azerbaijan.

Along with this, we should also note the positive developments. In April, Armenia and Azerbaijan finally started the delimitation process based on the 1991 Alma-Ata declaration, which was welcomed by many countries and organizations, including the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

Following my most recent meeting with the Azerbaijani counterpart on 10-11 May in Almaty, Armenia reaffirms its commitment to the lasting, stable peace in the South Caucasus based on mutual recognition of territorial integrity as per Alma-Ata declaration, the delimitation of the state border in line with the Alma-Ata Declaration, as well as the unblocking of communications under the sovereignty and jurisdiction of two states, based on the principles of equality and reciprocity.

We believe the Council of Europe with its conventional system, has an important role to play in contributing to the democratic security of Europe and upholding the rights of all persons living in its geographical area.’

According to available information, Azerbaijan officially confirms the fact of holding only 33 Armenian prisoners of war and civilians, but Armenian human rights activists say there are another 80 captured Armenians .


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