KARABAKH PEACE PROCESS DAMAGED BY HUNGARY'S EXTRADITION OF KILLER SOLDIER - MINISTRY

Interfax
Sept 6 2012

The extradition by Hungary of Ramil Safarov who killed an Armenian
officer and his subsequent pardoning by the Azeri authorities have
caused serious damage to the Karabakh peace process, Armenian Foreign
Minister Eduard Nalbandian said.

"The Azeri-Hungarian deal has caused serious damage to the process
of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and the efforts aimed
at strengthening regional stability and security," Nalbandian said
on Tuesday at an emergency session of the Armenian parliament, which
focused on the suspension of diplomatic relations with Hungary.

The international community must not allow Azerbaijan "to continue
its reckless policy under the guise of a negotiating process," he said.

"Armenia will continue its intense efforts in this area jointly with
international partners," the minister said.

In the course of formal correspondence and communication between
Yerevan and Budapest Hungary had dismissed the possibility of Safarov's
extradition to Azerbaijan, Nalbandian also said.

The relations between Yerevan and Budapest soured after the extradition
by Hungary on August 31 of Azeri soldier, Ramil Safarov, who was
sentenced in Budapest to life in prison without the right of pardon for
at least 30 years for the murder of Armenian officer Gurgen Margarian
in 2004.

Safarov was pardoned by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev on the same
day that he was extradited.

Both Safarov and Margarian were in Budapest doing an English language
course under NATO's Partnership for Peace Program.

On August 31, Armenia announced termination of its diplomatic relations
with Budapest over Safarov's extradition to Azerbaijan.