Azerbaijan welcomes the efforts by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the OSCE Minsk Group (MG) regarding the return of the body of the killed Azerbaijani soldier, the country’s State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons told APA on Jan. 11.
The State Commission noted that reports recently disseminated by Armenia’s media outlets with reference to the local officials are aimed at justifying Armenia’s reluctance to return the Azerbaijani soldier’s body through illogical reasons.
“The Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, to which Armenia has joined as well, and its requirements prohibit delaying the procedure of retuning dead bodies for any reason,” said Azerbaijan’s State Commission.
“Given the fact that Armenia has also previously allowed such inhuman actions as keeping bodies for a long time, the relevant international organizations should prevent such cases and demand this country honor the Geneva Conventions,” the State Commission added.
A reconnaissance group of the Armenian Armed Forces tried to violate the Azerbaijan-Armenia state border on December 29, 2016. The Armenian group found itself in the ambush of the Azerbaijani army while violating the borders and suffered heavy losses.
Chingiz Gurbanov, a soldier of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, went missing during the fight. Then, it was revealed that the Azerbaijani soldier was killed, and his body remained on the territory controlled by the enemy forces.
In order to receive the body of the killed soldier, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry has already appealed to the ICRC Azerbaijan Delegation, the OSCE Minsk Group, and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.