Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Armen Grigoryan received Thierry Ribaux, the Head of the Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Armenia.
During the meeting Armen Grigoryan stressed the need for immediate repatriation of Armenian prisoners of war and civilians illegally detained in Azerbaijan, and underlined the inadmissibility of their prоsecution under false charges by the Azerbaijani authorities.
Armen Grigoryan particularly mentioned that according to the third Geneva Convention, the latter have the status of prisoners of war, so they must be under the protection of international humanitarian law. He added that the policy of Azerbaijan contradicts the Provision 8 of the November 9 trilateral Statement, according to which the exchange of prisoners of war, civilians and others detained was to be held.
It was emphasized that Azerbaijan denies the fact that a large number of prisoners of war reported by numerous sources are under its control, refusing to provide information about them, including their places of detention. Such behavior raises serious suspicions that severe crimes were committed by Azerbaijan against the prisoners of war, including enforced disappearances.
Touching upon the issue of providing humanitarian aid to the affected population, Armen Grigoryan emphasized the need to expand the presence of international humanitarian organizations in Artsakh.
During the meeting Armen Grigoryan drew attention to the humanitarian situation resulting from Azerbaijan’s attacks against the sovereign territory of Armenia, expressing concern that the continued presence of the Azerbaijani armed forces in the territory of Armenia disrupts the normal life of the population living in border areas and leads to violations of their rights.
The head of the ICRC delegation, in turn, briefed on the steps being undertaken by the organization to ensure the communication between the prisoners and their families, as well as presented in detail the work carried out by the ICRC in the border areas.