Catholicos Applies to Azeri Muslim Leader for Armenian Captive


YEREVAN—Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II has applied to Azeri spiritual leader Sheikh-ul-Islam Haji Allahshukur Pashazadeh to secure the release of Armenian soldier Hakob Injighulian, who was captured while accidentally wandering past the Azeri border on August 7, said Fr. Vahram Melikyan, Head of Information Services at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

Separately, His Holiness Karekin II sent a message to Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill asking him to petition the Azeri authorities over the matter.

On the night of August 7, Hakob Injighulian, an Armenian citizen and an army conscript, crossed the Azeri border and was subsequently captured by Azeri soldiers. According to preliminary information, Injighulian had lost his bearings on the terrain and inadvertently crossed the line of contact.

Armenia offered to free an Azerbaijani prisoner of war last week as it continued trying to secure the release of the Armenian soldier.

Deputy Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan said that Firuz Farajev, an Azerbaijani soldier who crossed into Armenia a year ago, has “changed his mind and expressed a desire to return to Azerbaijan.”

There has been no official response to the offer from Azerbaijan yet.