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Arrests of ex-leaders of breakaway Karabakh legitimate Baku insists

It is stressed that Armenia is not interested in the process of peace and normalization with Azerbaijan

BAKU, October 4. /TASS/. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry thinks it inadmissible to question the legitimacy of Baku’s actions related to the arrests of the former leaders of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"The arrest of these persons in the process of the criminal investigation <…> regarding the aggression against Azerbaijan, inciting separatism, terrorist acts, crimes against peace and humanity, as well as war crimes and other grave crimes against prisoners of war and civilians, first and foremost serves to restore justice, and to undermine the legitimacy of these actions is completely unacceptable," the Azerbaijani diplomatic agency said in a statement. It notes that thousands of Armenian servicemen and members of illegal armed formations who voluntarily laid down their arms were free to leave for Armenia.

The Foreign Ministry stressed that Armenia, by "continuing to make unjustifiable legal claims contrary to the norms and principles of international law despite its failures at the International Court of Justice, makes it crystal clear that it is not interested in the process of peace and normalization with Azerbaijan."

Earlier on Wednesday, the Armenian Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the arrests of Karabakh’s ex-leaders. It noted that "the Republic of Armenia will take all possible steps to protect the rights of illegally detained representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh, including in international courts."

Last week, Azerbaijani authorities reported the detention of former Foreign Minister and Aide to the president of Nagorno-Karabakh David Babayan as well as the arrest of former deputy commander of the Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh Davit Manukyan and former head of Nagorno-Karabakh’s government Ruben Vardanyan.

Last Tuesday, Azerbaijani media outlets reported that Azerbaijan’s State Security Service had detained three ex-leaders of the unrecognized republic Arkady Ghukasyan, Bako Sahakyan and Arayik Harutyunyan, as well as Davit Ishkhanyan, the former parliamentary speaker of the breakaway republic.