Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 24
Arizona State House of Representatives passed a proclamation on February 23, 2017 recognizing and condemning the Khojaly Genocide, which was committed by Armenia’s army against Azerbaijani civilians in 1992 fleeing the town of Khojaly in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Read by the House Appropriation Committee Chairman Rep. Don Shooter on the House Floor, the proclamation was presented to Azerbaijan’s Consul General in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev. As a sign of respect for the innocent victims of the Khojaly Genocide, all legislators listened to the proclamation standing.
The proclamation says that on February 25 and 26, 1992, Armenian armed forces occupied the town of Khojaly in Azerbaijan and “killed more than six hundred civilians, wounded more than one thousand civilians; and captured more than one thousand two hundred civilians”.
The document further states: “Documenting this mass killing the Human Rights Watch called it the “largest massacre in the conflict”; major United States and international news organizations reported about the killings with horror; and numerous governments around the world as well as State Legislatures and Governors of 20 U.S. States passed resolutions/proclamations condemning the attack.”
The proclamation specifically mentions that the “perpetrators of this genocide are still at large and have not been brought to justice yet”.
“Tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan are still running high because Armenian army continues to occupy twenty percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory, in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the surrounding seven districts,” the document continues.
It also mentions that “resolutions condemning the occupation of Azerbaijan’s territory by Armenian forces have been passed by the United Nations Security Council and the General Assembly”.
The proclamation concludes by stating that the Arizona State House of Representatives honors the victims of the Khojaly tragedy, and recognizes February 26, 2017, as the 25th Anniversary of the Khojaly tragedy.
It should be noted that this is the second official document on Khojaly adopted by the Arizona State Legislature. The first document was passed by the upper chamber of the Legislature – the Arizona State Senate – on February 26, 2015.
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.
On February 25-26, 1992, the Armenian armed 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. As many as 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people were killed as a result of the massacre. 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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.