Commenting on a possible meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart on the sidelines of the Munich Conference, Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian said two days ago that the Armenian side does not reject talks to discuss the Karabakh conflict settlement, but it is so far uncertain “what more surprises Baku will make by that time.” The “surprise” was not long in coming: just yesterday Armed Forces of Azerbaijan attempted to penetrate into the area near Talish village, Martakert region of Nagorno-Karabakh, but the Nagorno-Karabakh troops noticed the approaching attackers timely and threw them back. In the course of the counter-sabotage operation, the Armenian side took an Azeri soldier Elnur Husseinzade (born in 1995) captive.
Afterwards, Baku tried to distance itself from the captive, saying Husseinzade had demobilized previously. Meantime, one can guess from the words of the captive’s mother and social media comments that Husseinzade joined the army as a contract officer soon after being demobilized. Thus, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry is disseminating misinformation. While in Baku they weigh methods to level up the unpleasant incident, in Stepanakert they see nothing extraordinary in the tactics and behavior of Azerbaijan that is ready to leave its soldier for its interests.
“Azerbaijan has turned its back to its soldier and motherland defender – here is the core of Aliyev’s regime. If Husseinzade were killed, he would hardly be forgotten, as Aliyev needs dead heroes,” David Babayan, Spokesperson of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) President told EADaily.
He said Baku is keen to abandon the commitments it undertook in Vienna and Saint Petersburg i.e. introduction of mechanisms to investigate incidents on the Line of Contact. The failed sabotage could become a solid reason for the OSCE Minsk Group and the world community to demand implementation of the commitments. Meantime, the past year showed that Baku stalls the process.
“Aliyev is not going to implemented the commitments he undertook, since the ceasefire violator is Azerbaijan. It is time for the world community to become stricter and critical,” Babayan said.
According to him, nothing threatens the life and health of the captive soldier. Quite the contrary, he is more secure in Nagorno-Karabakh rather than in Azerbaijan that has already refused from him. Unlike Azerbaijan, in Karabakh they do not torture or kill captives and do not sell their organs, since it contra ducts to the Armenian civilization and international organizations can make sure of that.
To recall, in January 2014, a 77-year-old Armenian man Mamikon Khojoyan lost bearings and found himself in the territory of Azerbaijan. He was taken captive. In March, Azerbaijan transferred him to the Armenian side. Doctors reported many traumas the elderly man received while in captivity: fractures, abrasions all over the body and head. Investigation revealed that he was tortured. Besides, analyses found a substance in the blood of the elderly man. The substance was very dangerous for life and health and perhaps was the reason of Khojoyan’s death. It is not for the first time that Armenian civilians taken captive by Azerbaijan were transferred to Armenia in a critical state or dead.
David Babayan believes that Baku increases tension trying to exert psychological pressure on the Armenian side, which is evident in the area of Talish village that is now being intensively reconstructed after the April hostilities of 2016. However, Azerbaijan will not achieve its goal, he said. “Aliyev still fails to understand that nothing can make the people of Karabakh swerve, since they are on the way they chose, they are on the right way,” he said for conclusion.
By Lia Khojoyan