AZERBAIJANI-ARMENIAN PRISONER EXCHANGE QUESTIONED
Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 98
The Yerevan office of the International Committee of the Red Cross said yesterday that Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Karabakh all continue holding prisoners of war and hostages, notwithstanding their claims to have released all of them as part of the recent exchange arranged by Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov. The ICRC office publicly asked the three parties to the conflict to open access to remaining POWs and hostages and also asked for information on the missing in action, an issue not included in Primakov’s negotiations.
Armenia on May 18 accused Azerbaijan of breaching the "all-for-all" principle underlying the exchange. It charged that most of the alleged hostages released by Azerbaijan were non-Armenians and convicted criminal offenders, and that Baku continues holding POWs and hostages seized during the Karabakh war. Yerevan said that this situation generates mistrust and "may seriously undermine Russia’s mediating efforts." (Interfax, Itar-Tass, May 18 & 20)
Primakov brokered the exchange of POWs and hostages during his May 8-11 shuttle tour of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Karabakh, the first in his planned series of mediating shuttle trips to the region. The trade