Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4
By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:
Ghazi Karabakh's Azan (call to prayer) will be sounded in Islamic countries from Malaysia to Morocco as part of the 'Justice for Khojaly' campaign.
This Azan was last sounded in Shusha and Agdam, ancient Azerbaijani lands, prior to the occupation of Karabakh.
In the near future this azan will also be sounded in Tehran mosques, and therefore a ceremony will be held to provide relevant information, Azerbaijan's Ambassador to Iran, Javanshir Akhundov said, the Azerbaijani embassy told Trend.
The ambassador made these remarks in Tehran at a meeting with the Ahlul Bayt World Assembly's Secretary General, Mohammad Hassan Akhtari, according to the embassy.
Akhtari promised that he would achieve the sounding of this azan in Tehran mosques and on the assembly's Arab-language TV channel broadcasting in Europe.
Ambassador Akhundov informed Akhtari about the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which resulted in destruction of Muslim religious monuments, mosques, cemeteries, etc. in Azerbaijan's occupied territories.
During the meeting the ambassador said mosques are being built, restored and reconstructed in Baku and in many other regions of Azerbaijan under the personal instructions and supervision of the country's president.
In the first years of its independence, Azerbaijan had 17 mosques, while over the past 20 years the number of built and reconstructed mosques reached 2,000. Tazapir Mosque and Azhdarbay Mosque in Baku and the Juma Mosque in Shamakhi were repaired and restored with state funds.
The ambassador added that earlier Azerbaijan and many other countries, including Iran, held events dedicated to the 22nd anniversary of occupation of the Khojaly town and the massacre committed there by Armenian troops against the civilians.
Khojaly tragedy is recognized by a number of states, including parliaments of Pakistan, Peru, Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mexico and other countries, as well as by the decisions and resolutions of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as an act of genocide against Azerbaijanis, Akhundov stressed.
The diplomat highlighted the need in a single joint position in the Islamic world for recognition of the Khojaly genocide.
During the meeting, the parties also exchanged views on issues of mutual interest.
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.
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.
Translated by E.A.
Edited by C.N.