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Azerbaijan using Armenian POWs and civilian hostages as political weapon – FM

Nearly two years after the secession of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh, humanitarian issues remain unresolved, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said at a joint press conference with his Czech counterpart Jan Lipavský.

“Azerbaijan continues to hold Armenian prisoners of war and civilian hostages, using them as a political weapon. Also, Azerbaijan’s policy of destruction, desecration of the Armenian cultural and religious heritage in the territories fallen under Azerbaijani control is of great concern. In this regard, we expect a targeted response and practical action from the international community,” Minister Mirzoyan said.

He noted that the realities resulting from the use of force and mass violations of human rights cannot create a sustainable foundation for regional peace and security.

“Armenia has repeatedly stated its readiness for constructive dialogue, refrained from preconditions and warmongering rhetoric, for sustainable peace and development of our region,” the Foreign Minister stated.

During a meeting with Jan Lipavský, Ararat Mirzoyan briefed him on Armenia’s position and efforts toward establishing peace and stability in the region, where the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship plays a key role in reaching a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In this regard, he expressed gratitude to the Czech side for its continued support to these efforts and the role the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship plays.

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