Azerbaijan’s proposal to exchange hostages “all-for-all” – humane approach

21:26 | 12 November, 2018

The proposal of the chairman of the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons of Azerbaijan on the exchange of hostages on the principle of “all for all” is a humane approach to solving the problem, the Vice-President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Member of the Azerbaijani Parliament Azay Guliyev told Trend.

“As you know, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev always pays attention to the issue of the release of prisoners of war and hostages, and by taking decisive steps to resolve this painful, complicated issue, he was able to achieve the release of a number of citizens or return of their bodies. The Chairman of the State Commission Madat Guliyev also spoke in detail about this issue at the last meeting held on November 1. Madat Guliyev noted during the meeting that he was a supporter of the principle of the exchange of prisoners of war and hostages on the basis of the “all for all” principle. I believe that this is not only a good idea, but also a very humane approach to solving the problem,” the Azerbaijani MP said.

He said if the current leadership of Armenia shows at least a little constructiveness and is not indifferent to its citizens, then there will be no serious problems in the implementation of this proposal.

“I think that it is necessary to inform all international agencies, especially the relevant OSCE institutions, of such a humane proposal of Azerbaijan so that the international community would realize who and how behaves in regard to such a humanitarian issue,” Guliyev said.

Guliyev added that the OSCE PA should express its position on this issue.

“I would like to say that our delegation constantly raises a question about prisoners of war and hostages at sessions of the OSCE PA. At the last autumn session of the OSCE PA, which took place on October 3 – 6 in Bishkek, I, together with the Chairman of the OSCE PA General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, Margareta Kiener Nellen separately discussed the issue of Dilgam Askerov and Shahbaz Guliyev illegally taken hostage by the Armenian side,” the OSCE PA vice-president noted.

Guliyev expressed hope that in the near future there will be an opportunity to get acquainted with the position of the committee’s chairman and her further steps in regard to this issue.

“I expect an answer from her as the chairman of the committee. In addition, on December 4-8, it will be possible to discuss this issue in detail at a meeting of the OSCE PA Bureau in Milan. I believe that there is enough ground to support the proposal of Azerbaijan to exchange prisoners of war and hostages on the basis of the “all for all” principle. I will also, in the framework of my authorities and capabilities, make efforts to achieve such support,” the Azerbaijani MP said.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.