Baku, Azerbaijan, March 7
U.S. Congressman, Co-chairman of the House Azerbaijan Caucus, Bill Shuster has made a statement in the U.S. Congress with regard to the 22nd anniversary of the Khojaly tragedy, the Azerbaijani Embassy in the U.S. told Trend on March 7.
Shuster remembered the victims of the Khojaly tragedy and stressed that this massacre was widely documented by the international media.
In his statement Shuster particularly stressed that Azerbaijan is a key strategic partner of the United States.
On February 25-26, 1992 Armenian occupation forces together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops stationed in Khankendi committed an act of genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly.
Some 613 people were killed, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people. A total of 1,000 civilians were disabled during the genocide.
Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both.
Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostages, while the fate of 150 people remains unknown.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent 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.
Translated by E.A.
Edited by C.N.