Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 26
By Anakhanum Hidayatova - Trend:
The OSCE Minsk Group US co-chairman James Warlick will attend an event commemorating the victims of the Khojaly genocide, he told Trend Feb. 26.
He expressed his sorrow for victims of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"We hope the many casualties from the conflict that continue to the present day, especially the many innocent civilians, will help to focus the Presidents' [Azerbaijani and Armenian] attention on the need for a negotiated settlement," said Warlick.
"As a Minsk Group co-Chair, I am prepared to work with my French and Russian colleagues and the sides to advance a settlement," noted Warlick adding that now is the time for peace.
On Feb. 25-26, 1992, the Armenian military, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops stationed in Khankendi, committed genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly.
Among those 613 killed in the massacre, there were 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people. Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both. A total of 487 civilians became disabled as a result of the onslaught. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people still remains unknown. The event became the largest massacre in the course of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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