Expressing his satisfactions on a 20 year relationship between Azerbaijan and the ICRC and on his first-ever visit to Azerbaijan within regional visit, Patrick Vial briefed Minister Elmar Mammadyarov about the meetings held with various Ministries.
Patrick Vial gave information on activities of the ICRC in Azerbaijan, namely, situation of detention centers, work on civilians living alongside frontline and work on the fate of the missing persons. Patrick Vail specifically underlined the development of penitential system and the improvement on the conditions of detentions in Azerbaijan.
Stressing that the ICRC shares Azerbaijan’s concerns over hostages and missing persons, Patrick Vial reiterated that the families of missing persons hold the right to get information about their relatives. Patrick Vial said that the consent as a result of Paris meeting between the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, which enshrines exchange of information on missing persons would positively impact the process.
Minister Elmar Mammadayarov pointed out the noble activities of the ICRC in the fields of hostages and missing person and stressed that Armenia should demonstrate a constructive stance at least on this very humanitarian issue. Elmar Mammadyarov added that as a result of aggression and occupation of Armenia over four thousands Azerbaijanis are being considered as documented missing persons. He said that most of them were killed by Armenia and buried in mass graves located in the territory of Armenia and occupied territories.
Minister also recalled the fact that Azerbaijan gave positive and immediate respond to the humanitarian proposal considering information exchange and establishment of biological data base on missing persons just right after the Paris meeting of the Presidents with the attendance of Minsk Group Co-chairs. Elmar Mammadyarov highlighted that Armenia, by all means, wanders away the proposal that would serve as confidence building element and makes artificial obstacles for exchange of information on missing persons and mass graves.
Elmar Mammadyarov brought the issue of Azerbaijani civilians Dilgam Asgharov and Shahbaz Guliyev illegally taken hostages by Armenia while visiting the graves of their parents at their place of origin. He said that international institutions and OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs should take serious measures for release of those persons by Armenia. Minister also talked about the recent increase in attacks targeted civilians by Armenia and in this regard briefed the guest about the attack of Armenia to the wedding in Gapanly village of Tartar district on September 1, 2015. Elmar Mammadyarov added that that case is yet another vivid example of violation of the international humanitarian law by Armenia. Minister underlined that withdrawal of military forces of Armenia from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan would avoid the violation of ceasefire and occurrence of casualties.
Furthermore, Elmar Mammadyarov briefed Patrick Vial about the settlement of Syrians with Armenian origins in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and stressed that this act is contrary to international humanitarian law. He added that the ICRC should investigate the fact under its mandate. In this regard, Minister pointed out that Armenia systematically and continuously violates its obligations under the Geneva Conventions.
Besides the issues of interest, migration crisis in Europe were discussed at the meeting.