EU, MEP Kaljurand thank Georgia for facilitating the release of 15 Armenian war prisoners by Azerbaijan

  • The Armenian war prisoners were released on Saturday thanks to the involvement of the US and Georgia. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 14 Jun 2021 - 11:34, Tbilisi,Georgia

The European Union (EU) and MEP Marina Kaljurand have thanked Georgia for its facilitation efforts to release 15 Armenian citizens who were captured last year by Azerbaijan during hostilities over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated on June 12 that the Armenian citizens were released through his involvement and that of the US. 

Azerbaijan says that the detainees were released in exchange for maps with the locations of 97,000 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines in the Aghdam region. 

The EU says that ‘these are important humanitarian and confidence building gestures by Baku and Yerevan that will hopefully open the path for further cooperation between the sides and the ultimate release of all Armenian detainees, as well as the handing over of all available maps of mined areas to avoid further civilian casualties.’ 

The EU has urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to continue cooperation.

Fighting broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia in September 2020 over Nagorno-Karabakh which claimed around 6,000 lives over six weeks.

The war ended in November with a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement under which Yerevan ceded swathes of territory it had controlled for decades.