Baku, Azerbaijan, July 7
By Seba Aghayeva – Trend:
Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez, chairman of the Churches in Action organization in Los Angeles and the city’s Interfaith Council, sent an open letter to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan over the death of an Azerbaijani two year old girl and her grandmother as the result of the recent Armenian provocation on the contact line between the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry told Trend July 7.
“As we were celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day - the founding of our Nation - shocking news reached us here in Los Angeles: a two-year-old Azerbaijani girl named Zahra Guliyeva and her grandmother were brutally killed, when Armenia’s armed forces targeted and shelled their house,” the bishop said in his letter.
“We were all appalled,” he noted. “There are no words that can fully express the anger and frustration that comes with the news of the killing of innocent civilians, especially of little children.”
“Killing innocent civilians does not only constitute a flagrant violation of all international legal norms, it also violates the very principles of Christianity,” the bishop said. “I hope that Armenia and its leadership fully realize the tremendous responsibility for upholding these principles no matter what.”
He urged the Armenian president to fiercely condemn this terrible crime and do his best to punish all those who are responsible for this heinous murder.
On July 4 at about 20:40 (GMT+4 hours), the Armenian armed forces, using 82-mm and 120-mm mortars and grenade launchers, shelled the Alkhanly village of Azerbaijan’s Fuzuli district.
As a result of this provocation, the residents of the village Sahiba Allahverdiyeva, 50, and Zahra Guliyeva, 2, were killed. Salminaz Guliyeva, 52, who got wounded, was taken to the hospital and was operated on.
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 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.