July 16
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YEREVAN. – Stepanakert should resolve the matter of whether to return [Azerbaijani saboteurs] Dilham Askerov and Shahbaz Guliyev. Minister of Defense of Armenia Davit Tonoyan, who also heads the committee on the matters of POWs, hostages and missing persons, on Friday told about this to reporters.

The Minister informed that he had met with the ICRC representatives Thursday, and he was formally given the respective proposal by Azerbaijan.

According to Tonoyan, however, there are certain matters and discussions that do not allow him to speak in more detail.

In fact, the Armenian defense minister did not rule out returning Askerov and Guliyev, though he strongly opposed the term “exchange.”

It turned out that Tonoyan was unaware of Artsakh’s (Nagorno-Karabakh) negative stance on this matter.

“I can’t rule out anything, but the decision will be made in Stepanakert [the capital city of Artsakh],” the minister said. “As for the non-military citizens of Armenia, their return is my immediate responsibility.”

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