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White House’s website announces appeal for Memorial Day for victims of Khojaly massacre war crimes (UPDATE)

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 28 January 2013 17:14 (UTC +04:00)
An announcement calling on U.S. President Barack Obama to announce an official memorial day for the victims of war crimes in Khojaly massacre has been published on the White House's website in the section of public initiatives.
White House’s website announces appeal for Memorial Day for victims of Khojaly massacre war crimes (UPDATE)

Details added (the first version published at 12:12)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 28 /Trend E.Tariverdiyev/

An announcement calling on U.S. President Barack Obama to announce an official memorial day for the victims of war crimes in Khojaly massacre has been published on the White House's website in the section of public initiatives.

"On February 26, the Azerbaijani-Americans and all friends of the U.S. Azeris Network will mark the 21st anniversary of one of the most horrific events of the 1990s, the Khojaly Massacre - the biggest war crime in ex-USSR in the second part of the 20th century," the proclamation said.

"This crime against humanity was perpetrated and acknowledged by the president of Armenia."
Several countries as well as the U.S. states of Massachusetts, Maine, Texas and New Jersey have introduced resolutions and proclamations commemorating the Khojaly Massacre.

"On behalf of a group of Azerbaijani-Americans and our friends throughout the nation and the world, on the eve of the 21st anniversary of this tragedy, we hereby call upon you to help us commemorating Khojaly Massacre and its victims with a Presidential proclamation," the proclamation 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; within one 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 1,000 civilians were disabled during the genocide. Eight families were annihilated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 lost both. Additionally, 1275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 remains unknown.

Previously, a petition calling for increased attention to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict that reiterated the fact that 20% of Azerbaijan's territory is occupied by the Armenian military was published on the website.

"The Nagorno Karabakh conflict became one of the most tragic conflicts in the XX century and has affected the destiny of millions Azerbaijanis. As a result of the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict, 20% of Azerbaijan lands - Nagorno Karabakh and 7 adjacent regions were occupied by Armenian military forces and more than one million Azerbaijan people became refugees and/or displaced persons, "the petition says.

It also states that the UN Security Council ratified four resolutions (No 822, 853, 874, 884) on Armenia's withdrawal from Azerbaijan lands. Yet Armenians did not follow the resolutions.

The USA is co-chairman within the OSCE Minsk Group; it should take an active role in resolving the conflict, the petition says.

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 the surrounding regions.

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