OSCE will continue to be vocal about Armenian POWs: Secretary General responds to President Sarkissian’s letter

The Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Helga Maria Schmid has responded to the letter of the President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian on the need for immediate return of all Armenian prisoners of war and civilians held by Azerbaijan.

The OSCE Secretary General said she had carefully studied the issues mentioned by President Sarkissian and presented them to the relevant OSCE structures.

“I continue to follow the situation, I am in touch with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the Personal Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office on these and related issues. I am aware that you also discussed these issues with incumbent President Anne Linde during her visit to Yerevan in March,” she said.

“The Minsk Group Co-Chairs issued a statement on 13 April 2021 addressing the issues raised in your letter. The Co-Chairs stressed the need for additional efforts to address existing concerns and to build an atmosphere of mutual trust that promotes lasting peace,” the OSCE Secretary General added.

“In this context, the Co-Chairs noted the need for the return of all prisoners of war and other detainees in accordance with the provisions of international humanitarian law. They, like me and other OSCE officials, will continue to be vocal about this issue. The OSCE institutions and structures are already working closely with Armenia through planned work in all three OSCE dimensions,” she noted.

“I hope to develop and further expand this cooperation during my tenure as OSCE Secretary General,” said Helga Maria Schmid.

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