Sun, Sep 09, 2012 - Page 6 News List

Armenian parliament severs all ties with Hungary

TIE-BREAKER:Budapest’s repatriation of an Azerbaijani officer who killed an Armenian led to the move and will harm Armenia-Azerbaijan peace efforts, experts say

AP, YEREVAN

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian speaks during a joint press conference with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen after their meeting in Yerevan, Armenia, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

The Armenian Parliament has terminated all ties with Hungary’s legislators to protest the country’s decision to repatriate an Azerbaijani military officer who murdered an Armenian soldier in 2004.

The officer, Lieutenant Ramil Safarov, was sentenced to life for killing the Armenian while both were attending a NATO course in Hungary. After being freed, the officer was pardoned upon returning home on Friday.

Armenia’s parliament voted 96 to 1 on Wednesday night to end ties with the Hungarian Parliament, saying in a statement that Hungarian authorities “are also responsible” for the pardoning.

Tensions are strong between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of Azerbaijan controlled by Armenian troops and ethnic Armenian forces since 1994. International negotiators said the pardon harms peace efforts there.

On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon implicitly criticized Azerbaijan for pardoning and freeing Safarov, despite having promised Hungary that his life sentence would be enforced.

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky quoted Ban as saying all UN members have a responsibility “to adhere to international standards and principles of rule of law in criminal cases in order to ensure accountability and fight impunity.”

The spokesman said the UN hopes the incident will not damage the peace process regarding Nagorno-Karabakh.

Meanwhile, an Armenian security expert said that Armenia’s government and media Web sites were under cyberattacks on Thursday that originated from thousands of infected computers located outside the country.

Ruben Muradian said the DDoS, or distributed denial of service, attacks came from about 80,000 computers located “in Asia.”

Armenian political analyst Samwel Martirosian claimed that Azeri authorities “undoubtedly” were behind the attacks conducted by hackers hired in Turkey, Pakistan, India and Vietnam.

DDoS attacks occur when a Web site is overwhelmed by malicious messages carried out by thousands of followers, usually with easily downloadable software.

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