‘We continue to believe that peace is possible if both parties are willing to pursue it,’ State Department says.
The US on Wednesday welcomed the exchange of Armenian and Azerbaijani military detainees and said it continues to believe “peace is possible.”
“We welcome the return of the Armenian and Azerbaijani detainees earlier today and reports that additional confidence building measures are being discussed,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.
“We will continue to work with Armenia and Azerbaijan to move the process forward. We continue to believe that peace is possible if both parties are willing to pursue it,” he added.
The remarks came in response to a question about Azerbaijan and Armenia exchanging prisoners of war after the two countries agreed last week to the mutual release of detainees in a step toward peace.
Azerbaijan announced Wednesday that it released 32 Armenian soldiers as part of a prisoner swap deal.
A statement by Azerbaijan’s State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons said the mutual exchange took place in the border region of Gazakh, where Armenia also handed over two Azerbaijani soldiers.
It said the Armenian soldiers were released after their health conditions were checked by the International Committee of the Red Cross and their conditions were confirmed to be satisfactory.