Madat Guliyev: Armenia delays resolution of Karabakh conflict
The resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is being delayed as a result of the non-constructive position of Armenia.
This was stated by Colonel General Madat Guliyev, head of the State Security Service (SSS), chairman of the State Commission for Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Citizens of Azerbaijan at a meeting dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the State Commission on November 1.
He noted that thanks to cooperation with international organizations, in particular with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), 1,480 prisoners and hostages were released, but according to information available to the commission, 871 Azerbaijani citizens are still among hostages and in captivity.
“According to the information, Armenians tell prisoners and hostages that they "fully occupied Azerbaijan" and that "such a country no longer exists," to exert psychological pressure on them,” Guliyev said.
Naturally, Azerbaijan continues to take necessary measures to release these people and those detained in the occupied NagornoKarabakh region Dilgam Asgarov, Shahbaz Guliyev and Elnur Huseynzade, he said.
“The issue of the release of these people is at the center of the constant attention of President Ilham Aliyev, and the head of state always brings this issue to the attention of international structures during the meetings and discussions,” Guliyev added.
He stressed that despite the ICRC put forward a proposal to release the individuals registered by the committee who are hostages and in captivity, to transfer prisoners and hostages to the parties [Azerbaijan and Armenia] as soon as possible, Armenia did not express its attitude to this humane proposal, remains indifferent to the fate of the victims of the war and takes no steps forward,
In conclusion, Guliyev added that the reason lies in the fact that from the very beginning of the conflict, Armenia is trying to politicize the humanitarian issue, and to represent the separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh as a party to the conflict.
Addressing the event, Deputy Chairman of the Azerbaijani Parliament, member of the State Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons Bahar Muradova said Armenia neglects commitments undertaken at the international level.
She noted that Armenia committed crimes against humanity and mankind.
"Crimes committed by Armenia are not only against Azerbaijanis, but also against all mankind. Azerbaijan consistently reveals the aggressive nature of Armenia to the world community. And we witness that this does not cause a serious concern of international organizations," she said.
Muradova also underlined that the prevention of crimes against humanity and the punishment of their perpetrators are the commitments undertaken by the Azerbaijani state.
"The work carried out by the State Commission over the past 25 years should be valued in this context," Muradova added.
Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev have been kept hostage by Armenian militaries in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan for more than four years already. They were detained by the Armenian armed forces in July 2014 while visiting their native places and graves of loved ones in the occupied Azerbaijani Kalbajar region. Moreover, Armenian armed forces killed the third Azerbaijani Hasan Hasanov.
Later, Guliyev and Asgarov were judged illegally by the unrecognized courts of the separatist regime in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh. Following an expedited “judicial process” in December 2015, Asgarov was sentenced to life imprisonment and Guliyev – to 22 years in prison.
Azerbaijan’s State Committee on Affairs of Refugees and IDPs, the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons and other agencies have repeatedly urged international organizations, including the ICRC, to assist in release of Guliyev and Asgarov, whilst the problem remains topical yet.