By Vafa Ismayilova
Baku has obtained from Yerevan maps of about 92,000 mines that Armenia planted during the occupation of Fuzuli and Zangilan regions in the early 1990s, the Foreign Ministry reported on July 3.
"On July 3, 2021, upon the initiative of the Russian Federation, Armenia submitted to the Azerbaijani side maps of about 92,000 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines planted during the occupation in Fuzuli and Zangilan regions," the report added.
Azerbaijan thanked Russian peacekeeping commander Rustam Muradov for his mediation to get the mine maps.
"We express our gratitude to Rustam Muradov, Commander of the Russian peacekeeping contingent temporarily deployed in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, for his mediation services in the implementation of the humanitarian initiative to obtain mine maps," the ministry said.
It added that obtaining mine maps will save the lives of tens of thousands of Azerbaijani citizens, including those involved in mine clearance, and will accelerate the implementation of reconstruction and rehabilitation projects initiated by President Ilham Aliyev on the liberated territories and the return of IDPs.
The ministry stressed that Azerbaijan handed over back to Armenia 15 ex-convicts of Armenian origin as a humanistic step.
"As a humanistic step, the Azerbaijani side handed over to Armenia 15 people of Armenian origin, who were imprisoned by the court's verdict and the term of the imposed sentence has expired," it noted.
On June 12, 2021, Azerbaijan handed over 15 Armenian prisoners in exchange for a map detailing the location of 97,000 mines in formerly-occupied Agdam.
Over 140 Azerbaijan citizens have been killed or injured in mine explosions since November 10, 2020.
Armenia deliberately and constantly planted mines on Azerbaijani territories, in violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention, thereby being a major threat to regional peace, security and cooperation.
The war between Armenia and Azerbaijan ended on November 10 with the signing of a trilateral peace deal by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders.