YEREVAN, JANUARY 10, ARTSAKHPRESS. Azerbaijan is not releasing the Armenian captives in order to use them as a lever for pressuring Armenia, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at a press conference.
Pashinyan said the Armenian government will continue to work in this direction as long as all captives aren’t freed.
“Search operations are taking place regarding those missing [in action]. Not all of the bodies of our martyrs have been found ,” Pashinyan said.
Since September 13, 17 POWs were returned to Armenia.
Asked why Azerbaijan refuses to release all Armenian POWs, Pashinyan said: “Because that’s also a lever for them to exert pressure against Armenia, so that the government of Armenia would make decisions that don’t comply with its interests including also under internal pressure. And this is done also in violation of the 9 November trilateral statement. But we will continue our efforts. Are these efforts sufficient? By our estimation, as long as the captives haven’t returned these efforts are insufficient. Thus new arenas must be found to deal with this issue in order to find a solution.”
The Prime Minister said that those missing in action are not only from the September aggression, but there are also still over 200 missing people from the 2020 war.
“We must work as long as the issue isn’t solved,” he added.