Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs on Returned Armenian Prisoners of War

Washington, D.C. – Today, the bipartisan co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues U.S. Representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), Gus M. Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), and David G. Valadao (R-Calif.) issued the following statement on news that five Armenian prisoners of war have been returned to Armenia:

“We welcome the news that five Armenian prisoners of war have returned home. However, Azerbaijan continues to illegally detain dozens more Armenian soldiers – many of whom have been subject to horrific torture and abuse – as leverage.

“We call for the immediate and unconditional release of all Armenian prisoners of war, and for the United States to renew its efforts through the OSCE Minsk Group to bring the remaining soldiers home and reinvigorate the peace process.

“We will not rest until every captured Armenian soldier is returned home, and the people of Armenia and Artsakh can finally know the peace and self-determination they have been denied for so long.”

In July, the House passed the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, which included Rep. Schiff’s amendment calling on Azerbaijan to release all Armenian prisoners of war and captured civilians currently detained in the aftermath of the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh — also known as Artsakh — and urging the Biden administration to engage with Azerbaijani authorities on all levels to facilitate their release, including through the OSCE Minsk Group process.