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State Department Calls for Azerbaijan to Release All Prisoners of War



Washington, D.C. - Today, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) welcomed the U.S. State Department's call for Azerbaijan to immediately release all prisoners of war and retreat from Armenia.

In a statement released by the U.S. Department of State, Spokesperson Ned Price stated that the United States is "concerned by recent developments along the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, including the detention of several Armenian soldiers by Azerbaijani forces." Price reiterated that Azerbaijan should immediately release all prisoners of war and other captives and reminded "Azerbaijan of its obligations under international humanitarian law to treat all detainees humanely." The State Department urged all parties to return to "substantive negotiations under the auspices of the​ OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to achieve a long-term political settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict" while "rejecting the use of force to demarcate the border…and to cease military fortification of the non-demarcated border…" Also today, the French Foreign Ministry issued a similar statement that stated: "The demarcation and delimitation of the border between the two countries must be done in the framework of a negotiation between the parties without any fait accompli on the ground." The Aliyev regime has repeatedly violated the November 9, 2020 ceasefire statement since its signing, making it clear that Azerbaijan is not serious about establishing peace or respecting international human rights conventions to which it is a signatory. There is ample reason to believe that the 44-day war last Fall, along with ongoing breaches of the ceasefire agreement, have occurred at the direction of Turkey's dictatorial President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who seeks to further destabilize the South Caucasus region and circumvent the OSCE Minsk Group process. As tensions continue to mount, the Assembly has urged the United States to fully enforce Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, revitalize the OSCE Minsk Group process, and bring the parties together to find a lasting resolution to the conflict.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.

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NR# 2021-45

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