YEREVAN. – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is ready to act as a neutral intermediary over the issue of captives, head of communication programs at Yerevan ICRC office Zara Amatuni said.
“ICRC continues, in accordance with its mandate, to regularly visit all those captivated in connection with the Karabakh conflict. As to the statements, ICRC is ready to act as a neutral independent intermediary if all the parties agree,” Amatuni told Armenian News-NEWS.am in response to a request to comment on the recent statements made by Armenian and Azerbaijani officials.
Earlier acting Armenia’s Defense Ministrer Davit Tonoyan said Armenia had not received from Azerbaijan a formal proposal to exchange captives. Meanwhile, Baku expressed readiness to swap POWs.
However, there are no Azerbaijani POWs in Armenia. Two Azerbaijani convicts and one captive is in Artsakh. In Azerbaijan there is a citizen of Armenia and one citizen of Artsakh.
Prior to the trial of Askerov and Guliyev the parties exchanged citizens. However, now Azerbaijani authorities want to return two criminals and thus block the process of exchanging captives.