July 1, 2021 – 18:34 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net – Head of the parliament’s standing committee on foreign relations, lawmaker from the ruling My Step bloc Ruben Rubinyan has ruled out a comprehensive peace agreement with Azerbaijan until the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is resolved.
Rubinyan’s comments came after Azeri President Ilham Aliyev expressed hope that the Armenian authorities would agree to a peace treaty with Azerbaijan after the snap parliamentary elections held across the country on June 20. According to MP Naira Zohrabyan, Baku also wants to have Armenia recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan with most of the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh in exchange for the release of the prisoners of war.
The lawmaker cited the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and noted that the Karabakh conflict has not been resolved and its status has yet to be determined, Sputnik Armenia reports. He also weighed in on the return of the remaining prisoners of war and captives from Azerbaijan, maintaining that the issue is among Armenia’s priorities.
Azerbaijan is refusing to return all Armenian prisoners of war, in violation of the statement on the cessation of hostilities signed by the parties in November 2020. The Armenian side has information about some 200 Armenians still in Azerbaijan’s captivity, but Azeri President Ilham Aliyev claims that persons being kept in Baku are not PoWs, but “terrorists and saboteurs”. At least 19 of the hundreds of Armenian captives have been tortured and killed, according to their lawyers.