US ambassador sees opportunity for release of Azerbaijani hostages

Baku: I have repeatedly stated in my speeches that there is an opportunity to find a way out of stagnation, take a step forward and show humanitarian gesture for a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabah conflict.

US Ambassador Robert Cekuta said on March 18, commenting on the issue of Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev, who were taken hostage by Armenias, APA reports.

The US urges the parties to seize the opportunity and continues to work on this issue, the ambassador noted.

Responding to a question about who will represent the US in the event dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the so-called Armenian genocide to be held in Yerevan, the diplomat said a relevant decision will be taken by Washington and he has no information about it.

As part of the visit to the region, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland made statements calling for the release of Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev, who were taken hostage by Armenians in Kalbajar.

In July 2014, Russian citizen Dilgam Asgarov and Azerbaijani citizen Shahbaz Guliyev were taken hostage by the Armenians on their way to visit their relatives’ graves in Kalbajar, another Azerbaijani citizen, IDP from Jabrayil district Hasan Hasan was shot dead. Hasanov’s body was taken from the opposing side and buried in Baku. On 19 December 2014, the “court” of the separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh sentenced Dilgam Asgarov to life in prison and Shahbaz Guliyev to 22 years.

SOURCE: Azeri Press News Agency