Azerbaijani FM: Country massacring innocent Khojaly civilians cannot be called civilized
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 1 / Trend S.Agayeva /
Armenia which was trying to present itself as a civilized country, proved otherwise by committing such a terrible crime in Khojaly in the late 20th century, Foreign Ministry's spokesman Elman Abdullayev said at the briefing on Friday.
"People who massacred innocent civilians can not be called civilized. As a result of the short-sighted and destructive policy, the Armenian leadership nullified their own attempts to create an image of a long-suffering Armenian nation," Abdullayev said.
According to Abdullayev, Armenian government's attempts show that the country's authorities have chosen the strategy of deception of its people, which, ultimately leads to the delaying settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"The desire to lay the blame on somebody else is typical for Armenia's leadership, while the distortion of the essence of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement demonstrates the partiality of authorities," Abdullayev said.
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 1,000 civilians were disabled during the genocide. Eight families were killed, 130 children lost one parent and 25 lost both. Additionally, 1,275 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.