Azerbaijan sets free ethnic Armenian from Lebanon detained during Karabakh war
By Vafa Ismayilova
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva has said ethnic Armenian woman from Lebanon Maralle Najarian has been set free as a result of humanism demonstrated by Azerbaijan, the Foreign Ministry website reported on March 11.
"Maralle Najarian, who was born in the Lebanese city of Burj Hammud, has both Armenian and Lebanese citizenship. She was detained by Azerbaijani law-enforcement agencies in the former conflict zone together with a Lebanese citizen of Armenian origin, with whom she lived. She testified that she had entered Azerbaijan's territory illegally and had committed other acts in violation of Azerbaijani legislation. As a result of humanism demonstrated by Azerbaijan, Najarian was released on March 10 this year," Abdullayeva said.
The spokesperson added that Najarian preferred to return to Lebanon.
"We would like to note that as a result of discussions with Russia, it was not possible to deport her from Russia as she is a Lebanese citizen. For this reason, Najarian was sent back to Lebanon via Turkey," Abdullayeva added.
She ruled out the presence of any Armenian female detainee in Azerbaijan.
"In general, we would like to say that currently there are no women of Armenian origin detained in Azerbaijan. Most of five women, who were detained during the war, were released during military operations," she said.
Meanwhile, Trend reported, quoting Ilaha Aliyeva, an employee of the Azerbaijani office of ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) that Azerbaijan released Lebanese citizen Najarian, who fought as a sniper on the Armenian side during the 44-day war.
According to Aliyeva, after the release, Najarian was sent to Lebanon’s capital Beirut, through ICRC’s participation.
Najarian was captured in November last year during the liberation of Lachin region from Armenia's occupation.
In early March, Abdullayeva said that in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 8 of the trilateral statement of November 10, Azerbaijan returned to Armenia a total of 71 Armenian citizens, including 43 military and 28 civilians taken prisoner during the war.
On November 10, Baku and Yerevan signed a Moscow-brokered deal that brought an end to six weeks of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.
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