Azerbaijan Admits Amnesty for Karabakh Military Personnel

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The Azerbaijani authorities envisage amnesty for the military of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic who lay down their arms. Hikmet Hajiyev, Azerbaijan’s presidential adviser on foreign policy, told Reuters. “We envisage amnesty even for ex-military and combatants, if they can be so classified,” Mr. Hajiyev said. The adviser said in the interview that some Karabakh military officers had made public statements that they would continue to resist. He also said that small groups are retreating into the forest, but he does not see this as a major problem. Mr. Hajiyev said the rights of Karabakh Armenians will be respected as part of their integration into Azerbaijan. Humanitarian aid will be delivered to the region on Friday. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan noted that Nagorno-Karabakh residents may be evacuated to the territory of the republic. This will happen if living in the region becomes impossible. Armenia has prepared 40,000 places to accommodate people in case of evacuation. Mr. Pashinyan said that as a result of the telephone conversation with his colleagues in Nagorno-Karabakh “we can admit certain hopes for positive developments in the situation”. On 19 September, Azerbaijan launched “local anti-terrorist measures” on the territory of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. According to Gegham Stepanyan, Commissioner for Human Rights in Nagorno-Karabakh, at least 200 people were killed and another 400 wounded as a result of the Azerbaijani army’s actions in the region. Because of this, protests are going on in Yerevan for the fourth day, demanding Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation.