The transfer of Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan was the Hungarian government's "correct and right" decision, enabling Hungary to get out of the Azeri-Armenian conflict, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told Parliament, www.politics.hu reported.
The premier responded to critical remarks by Socialist MP Laszlo Kovacs, former Socialist foreign minister.
Orban said the government had made a correct and right decision that complied with the rules of international law and Hungary's legal practice.
"Hungary should follow its own interests rather than those of Armenia or Azerbaijan," he said.
Orban said that the decision had not been motivated by the promise of any short-term benefits.
In the long term, however, it will have a benefit, the premier said.
As long as Safarov was here, he caused plenty of conflicts and difficulties and the situation would not have changed in the future either," he said.
Ramil Safarov was born on August 25, 1977 in the Jabrail region of Azerbaijan. Safarov 34, who participated in NATO exercises in 2004 in Hungary, was charged with the murder of Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan, who insulted the Azerbaijani flag. As the result of the verdict by the Budapest court, Safarov was sentenced to life imprisonment without the right of pardon during 30 years.
Immediately after the Azerbaijani officer's release, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan announced that Armenia suspends diplomatic relations and all official contacts with Hungary.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France and the U.S. - are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.