Armenian premier wants to exchange son for prisoners of war

Moscow, June 9, (dpa/GNA) - Days before parliamentary elections in Armenia, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has offered Azerbaijan his son in exchange for prisoners of war.

Pashinyan had charged the respective committees with officially communicating his proposal, the 46-year-old premier said on Wednesday during a campaign event, according to news agency Armenpress.

"Don't get me wrong: this is not the only tool to solve the problem," he said.

Pashinyan's son wrote on Facebook that he was willing to do it.

Over six months since the latest clashes between the two countries over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of not having freed all prisoners of war, despite several prisoner swaps between the rivals.

Azerbaijan says it has fulfilled its duties in accordance with an agreement, which however does not cover soldiers sent by Armenia to "territories of Azerbaijan" after the end of fighting.

In the fighting from September 27 to November 9, 2020, for control of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is located within Azerbaijan but mostly inhabited by Christian Armenians, Muslim-majority Azerbaijan reclaimed large parts of the territory it lost to Armenia in the early 1990s. More than 6,000 people died.

The war triggered a political crisis in Armenia, with the opposition organizing mass protests for Pashinyan to step down and for new elections.

In a week and a half, early parliamentary elections are taking place, during which Pashinyan hopes to be confirmed in his office.

There have recently been fresh tensions along the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.