Safarov repatriation case “not yet closed,” Hungarian Foreign Ministry official says

Issues around Hungary’s repatriation of Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan cannot be closed as yet, Hungary’s state secretary for foreign affairs Zsolt Nemeth said in an interview to the daily Nepszabadsag on Thursday, politics.hu reports.

Nemeth argued that the Hungarian decision entailed “many consequences and tasks” including tension with Armenia. He also said that there was a “serious bilateral loss of confidence” with the US, but added that it was rooted in a “fundamental misunderstanding”.

The state secretary said that Hungary would make “all efforts” to restore Hungary-Armenia ties, adding that re-establishing diplomatic relations with that country in the next few months was a realistic goal.

Nemeth said that “there had been no direct compensation of any kind” for Hungary in return for its decision to repatriate Safarov at Azerbaijan’s request.

Safarov was serving a life sentence for murdering an Armenian officer in Budapest in 2004.

Azerbaijan’s pardoning Safarov on his return may not have negative consequences impacting Hungarian-Azeri economic cooperation, however, the Azeri move “has left a thorn in the Hungarian government,” Nemeth said.

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