U.S. Congressman makes statement on Khojaly genocide
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb.27 / Trend, E.Tariverdiyeva /
Member of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress from Ohio, Tim Ryan made a statement on the fact of the Khojaly genocide, U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan said on Wednesday.
"I join my colleagues and people all over the world in recognizing the tragedy known as the Khojaly Massacre which occurred on February 26, 1992 in the small Azerbaijani town of Khojaly. The attack resulted in the massacre of 613 Azerbaijani civilians and is one of the most devastating acts of violence in the South Caucasus in recent history," he said.
He said the fate of 150 Khojaly inhabitants is still unknown, even after twenty-one years.
"The numerous casualties and acts of torture in the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan underscore the need for a political-rather than a military-solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. A fair and comprehensive settlement is the only effective tool to encourage stability, prosperity, and a lasting peace in the region," Ryan said.
As co-chair of the Minsk Group, the United States remains committed to working with both sides to that end, he said.
"With that goal in mind, we remember and mourn the 613 victims of Khojaly and work together to safeguard the human rights of all," Ryan underscored.
On Feb.25-26 February, 1992, Armenian occupation forces together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops stationed in Khankendi (previously Stepanakert) committed an act of genocide towards the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly.
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 four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.