YEREVAN. – Armenia’s acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is ready to meet with the family of Karen Ghazaryan who has been in Azerbaijani captivity for four months. Pashinyan said he had received the relatives’ message and instructed to organize a meeting.
The family and friends of Ghazaryan have staged several protest actions and also blocked the highway leading to the Georgian border.
“My wife visited the family twice. We have never ignored the matter, but the protest action that was held the other day raises many questions. If this is an action against Azerbaijani authorities, why are they blocking the road – the closure is one of the strategic goals of Azerbaijan? If it is against us, because they think we are not paying enough attention to the problem, why did PM’s wife visit the family twice? Was there a precedent in the past that the family of a person who found himself in a similar situation was paid that much attention? If the matter is that Armenia has to boost efforts, we have to understand whether the process has to meet Armenia’s interests or we should demand a solution at any cost. There are not simple questions,” Pashinyan said during a media briefing on Tuesday.
He recalled that another Armenian citizen Zaven Karapetyan is in Azerbaijani captivity since July 2017.
“Why don’t they block roads because of him? Is it because he is an orphan? Is it the logics?” he wondered.
Pashinyan stressed that the Azerbaijani side proposed to exchange “all for all” and asked whether the Armenian side has to agree.
“Have you asked the families of the killed?” he said reminding of a terrorist incursion by Hasan Hasanov, Dilham Askerov and Shahbaz Guliyev. They killed two people, including an 18-year-old teen.
“Do we have to return to Azerbaijan two Ramil Safarovs? I do understand and I do respect the tragedy of the Ghazaryan family, but I do not understand why to close the road. Were we able to do something, but failed to? This is a wrong assessment of the situation. PM and the government have to think about both persons,” Pashinyan added.
Askerov and Guliyev serve their sentence in Artsakh where the third Azerbaijani citizen Elnur Huseynzade is kept. Besides Karen Ghazaryan and Zaven Karapetyan, a citizen of Artsakh Arsen Baghdasaryan was sentenced to 15 years in Azerbaijani jail.