July 23
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Armenian authorities are strongly committed to the peace process with Azerbaijan, but we have deep concerns about Azerbaijan's commitment given that country's militaristic rhetoric and track record of empty promises, said Brian Ardouni, Executive Director of the Armenian Assembly of America, during a discussion on "Are Armenia and Azerbaijan on the Brink of Peace?" at the Atlantic Council of the United States today.

According to him, a vivid proof of this is the fact that according to the 2020 trilateral agreement Azerbaijan undertook to release all prisoners of war, but after 2020 Baku captured new prisoners, including former leaders of Artsakh, who embody freedom and democracy.

Brian Ardouni, in particular, emphasized the name of former Artsakh State Minister Ruben Vardanyan, noting that he carried out humanitarian projects on a global level, implemented hundreds of projects in Artsakh, rebuilding the country, but now, among other former leaders of Artsakh, is in an Azerbaijani prison and is subjected to all kinds of tortures.

"Today they remain in prison with little opportunity to communicate with their families. Some are being tormented," he said, adding that none of them can properly exercise their statutory rights.

"It is really difficult to imagine a sincere peace process with Azerbaijan when this country continues to hold political prisoners and hostages," he said, recalling that recently the European Union, US congressmen called on Azerbaijan to establish a peace in which these people would be released.

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