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France salutes Baku’s handover of eight Armenian detainees to Yerevan

8 February 2022 17:00 (UTC+04:00)
France salutes Baku’s handover of eight Armenian detainees to Yerevan

By Vugar Khalilov

France welcomes Baku’s handover of eight Armenian detainees to Yerevan, French ambassador to Azerbaijan Zacharie Gross has tweeted.

"Today Azerbaijan handed over eight Armenian detainees, transferred to Yerevan by a French government plane. France salutes this gesture of goodwill that contributes to reducing tensions and restoring trust between Yerevan and Baku. Grateful for Azerbaijan's cooperation," Gross underlined.

On February 7, Baku handed over back to Yerevan eight Armenian servicemen proceeding from the principle of humanism.

Some of them were the servicemen detained while the Azerbaijani armed forces prevented Armenia’s military provocation on the state border in Kalbajar region on November 16, 2021.

In response to Azerbaijan's humanitarian gesture, Armenia is expected to provide information on Azerbaijani military and civilian citizens who were killed (and most likely buried in mass graves) during the first Karabakh war (1988-1994), as well as the location of their mass graves.

The issue was raised by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at an online meeting organized with the participation of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, French President Emmanuel Macron and President of the European Council Charles Michel on February 4.

At the meeting, Aliyev underlined that Armenia had to provide information about the mass graves of Azerbaijani citizens that went missing during the first Karabakh war.

Aliyev said that 3,890 Azerbaijani citizens, including 71 children, 267 women and 326 elderly people went missing during the first Karabakh war.

In turn, Armenia promised to cooperate with Azerbaijan on this issue, which was also backed by French President Emmanuel Macron, Azertag reported earlier.

European Council President Charles Michel and EU Special Representative for South Caucasus Toivo Klaar welcomed Azerbaijan's step.

"The release by Azerbaijan and reparation to Armenia of 8 Armenian detainees is another sign of positive developments following the meeting with Macron, Aliyev and Pashinyan. The EU supports stability and prosperity in the region," Michel said on his official Twitter account.

"Welcome the release of Armenian detainees by Azerbaijan. An important humanitarian gesture following the quadrilateral meeting last Friday [February 4] between Aliyev, Pashinyan, Macron and Michel," Klaar tweeted.

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