Armenia had to immediately give the body of the killed Azerbaijani soldier according to international humanitarian law, particularly the Geneva Convention, but Yerevan refuses to do so despite that 10 days have passed from the Armenian provocation of Dec. 29, 2016, said Hikmat Hajiyev, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman.
“Armenia does not respond to any appeals sent through international organizations,” Hajiyev told Trend Jan. 9 commenting on the statement of the chief of Armenia’s General Staff, who says that the body of the Azerbaijani soldier is still in Armenia.
A reconnaissance group of the Armenian Armed Forces tried to violate the Azerbaijan-Armenia state border on Dec. 29, 2016. The Armenian group found itself in the ambush of the Azerbaijani army while violating the borders and suffered heavy losses. Chingiz Gurbanov, a serviceman of Azerbaijani Armed Forces, went missing during the fight.
Hajiyev added that the recent statement of the leadership of Armenian armed forces, who said they still have the soldier’s body, once again proves that Armenia’s military and political authorities are far from the norms of civilized behavior.
Giving the dead soldier’s body is a major requirement of the international humanitarian law, Hajiyev said.
“Armenia does not return the bodies of the dead soldiers, it vents anger on them, scoffs at the bodies, and this is no exception – this has become a constituent part of that country’s state policy. Such a vile behavior does not do credit to soldiers and officers and it is only characteristic of terrorists,” said the spokesman.
Relevant state agencies will in a coordinated manner continue their efforts to return the body of the killed soldier, according to Hajiyev.
Azerbaijan’s diplomatic missions periodically raise this issue before international organizations, he added.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.