Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 28
By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:
As much as Armenia tries to deny the responsibility for Khojaly massacre, the facts speak for themselves and cannot be changed, Azerbaijan's Consul General in Los Angeles, Nasimi Aghayev said on Feb. 27.
Aghayev made the remarks addressing the audience during an event dedicated to Azerbaijan at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), which is one of the most prestigious universities in California.
Highlighting the illegal military occupation of Azerbaijan's territories, as well as the ethnic cleansing and war crimes carried out by Armenia against Azerbaijani civilian populaton on the occupied territories, the consul general informed the attendees about the Khojaly massacre of 1992, which resulted in the brutal killing of hundreds of civilian Azerbaijanis, including many children, women, and elderly.
The consul general mentioned the admission of culpability for this mass killing expressed by Armenia's current president Serzh Sargsyan in an interview given in 2000.
Moreover, the consul general drew the attention to the book written by Markar Melkonian, brother of the ASALA terrorist Monte Melkonian, who was directly involved in the Khojaly massacre.
"This book vividly illustrates how brutally the Armenian forces carried out this massacre," he said.
In this regard, Aghayev said that after all these confessions and facts, including an assessment by Human Rights Watch it is ridiculous to deny the responsibility for the Khojaly massacre.
The consul general also mentioned that it is also unfathomable that "this terrorist Monte Melkonian was declared national hero of Armenia and his statue was erected in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan".
During the presentation, the consul general also spoke about Azerbaijan's history, culture, its development as an independent nation, its oil strategy, relations with U.S., Europe and neighboring countries.
He also highlighted the long-standing traditions of ethnic and religious tolerance in Azerbaijan and said in this regard that Azerbaijan's government pays a special attention to strengthening these traditions.
The presentation was followed by a lively question-and-answer session, during which the Consul General Aghayev responded to various questions from American students as well as from Armenians.
Brochures, booklets, articles and journals regarding the military occupation of Azerbaijan's territories by Armenia as well as the Khojaly Genocide, were distributed at the event.
It should be noted that a number of representatives of radical Armenian organizations tried to obstruct the event, in the end, by making much noise, but failed to achieve their goal.
The event was held by the Council on International Affairs at the UCI.