According to the Armenian prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, Armenia has returned to Azerbaijan the bodies of 108 persons considered missing since the first Karabah war.
Earlier this week, Azerbaijan returned 8 Armenian detainees to Yerevan, as a result of an online meeting between Pashinyan and the Azerbaijani president, Ilham Aliyev, which was mediated by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and the president of the European Council, Charles Michel. There was speculation that in response to this, Armenia would be providing Azerbaijan with information on Azerbaijani servicemen and civilians killed during in the first Armenian-Azerbaijan war, as well as the location of their graves.
Speaking about this at a parliamentary Q&A earlier today (9 February), the Armenian prime minister pointed out that while Azerbaijan claims that some 4000 of its citizens are missing since the first Nagorno-Karabakh war, Armenia also has 777 missing persons. He added that rumours alleging the Armenian side were not taking any concrete steps to resolve this issue were untrue: “I would like to inform you that during the last year the bodies of 108 people missing from the first war have been handed over to the Azerbaijani side”. He added that Armenia would be transferring two more bodies in the coming day and that these bodies had been handed over without preconditions. This was because “we do not consider it right for it to become a subject of any bargaining, because the humanitarian issues should not be a subject of bargaining. We did the same with the minefield maps, by returning them without conditions so that it would not become a subject of bargaining”.
He expressed hope that Azerbaijan would also take concrete steps, noting that an agreement had been reached to cooperate on uncovering the fates of the missing persons, including the 217 Armenians which are missing since the end of the 44-day war. He also added that as of the latest updates, Armenia had 3812 casualties in the 44-day war, of which 3736 were military, and 76 civilian.