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Envoy Sees Axe-Killer's Pardon as Severe Blow to Nagorno-Karabakh Talks.

Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- Armenian's Ambassador to Iran Grigor Arakelian condemned Baku for pardoning an Azeri officer who axed an Armenian officer to death years ago, and warned that the move undermines the process of talks between the two neighboring countries over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev last week immediately pardoned Ramil Safarov after he was extradited from Hungary, where he had been serving a life sentence for the 2004 killing.

Safarov was also promoted to the rank of major, given a house and eight years' worth of back-pay after returning home to a hero's welcome, in defiance of assurances from Baku to Budapest that he would serve out his term in Azerbaijan.

Speaking to FNA on Monday, the Armenian envoy to Tehran pointed to the ongoing talks between Yerevan and Baku over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, and said, "This move by the government of Azerbaijan shows that they are not interested in the continuation of the negotiations and are demonstrating their intolerance towards a nation and its rights to exist."

"The Azeri government's action to pardon the killer and make him a hero is a step towards undermining the negotiation process," the Armenian envoy underscored.

In similar remarks on Sunday, Armenia warned Baku that it was ready for war.

"We don't want a war, but if we have to, we will fight and win. We are not afraid of killers, even if they enjoy the protection of the head of state," Armenian President Serzh Sargsian said in a statement late on Sunday.

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Publication:FARS News Agency
Geographic Code:9AZER
Date:Sep 3, 2012
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