Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 11 / Trend S. Agayeva /
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov will deliver a speech at the UN Security Council's open debate on 'Protection of civilians during armed conflicts' in New York on Feb. 12, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Elman Abdullayev told media today.
"Today Azerbaijan is suffering from an armed conflict," Abdullayev said. "Every ninth inhabitant of the country is a refugee or a displaced person."
He added that taking into account the importance of this topic for Azerbaijan, the foreign minister will deliver a speech which will focus on the subject.
On the eve of the anniversary of the Khojaly genocide, the minister will touch upon this theme during the UN Security Council debate, Abdullayev said.
On Feb. 25-26 February, 1992, Armenian occupation forces together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops stationed in Khankendi (earlier Stepanakert) fired on the Azerbaijani town of Khojali that had been under siege for months. In a single night the town was razed to the ground.
Some 613 people were killed including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old men. A total of 1000 civilians were disabled during the genocide. Eight families were killed, 130 children lost one parent and 25 lost both. Additionally, 1275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 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 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 surrounding regions.
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