Statement by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan - Baku, May 12, 1995

Though Azerbaijan has been involved in the war by force and it has grave consequences, over 20 percent of its territory has been occupied and it has over million Azerbaijani internally displaced persons who have been banished from their native lands, it always supports the elimination of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict through political solutions.

The Charter of the United Nations concerning the inviolability of borders and territorial integrity of states, principles of OSCE and international conventions on the victims of war, in our view, are the reliable basis for the elimination of the conflict and its grave consequences.

Relying on this principled position, as well as responding to the appeals of President Boris Yeltsin of the Russian Federation, the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, the current chairman of the OSCE, the Chairman of the International Red Cross Committee and other authoritative international organizations the Republic of Azerbaijan releases all the military prisoners in the territory of Azerbaijan, the citizens of the Republic of Armenia and other persons of the Armenian nationality on the anniversary of the cease-fire agreement in the Armenian-Azerbaijani front.

We also regret that the International Red Cross Committee is not still able to determine the number of the Azerbaijani hostages and military prisoners in the territory of Armenia and in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan the number and names of whom have provided by the Azerbaijani side.

We hope that the Armenian side will solve this problem and create the conditions necessary for the liberation of all the Azerbaijani citizens.

The Republic of Azerbaijan once more supports the solution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict peacefully, and still hopes that the undertaken humanist steps will soon be followed by peace.