Slovenia urges Armenia to withdraw from Azerbaijani lands (UPDATE 2)

Headline changed, details added (first version posted at 12:50)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 22

Trend:

Slovenia's National Council has adopted a decision urging Armenia to withdraw from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, said the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.

The ministry issued this information Jan. 22 citing Azerbaijani embassy in Slovenia, which operates with a residence in Austria.

The decision on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was adopted on an initiative by Rudi Matjasic, a member of the Council.

In the document, Slovenia's government urged to support the UN Security Council's resolutions on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, aimed at its peaceful settlement, as well as the return of refugees and internally displaced people to their native lands.

The conflict 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 hasn't yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on its withdrawal from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

Slovenian National Council's document also condemned the ethnic cleansing and mass extermination of the civilian Azerbaijani population by Armenia. It was also underscored that the genocide committed by the Armenian armed forces in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly on February 26, 1992, is a crime against humanity.

Armenian military, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops stationed in Khankendi, committed genocide on Feb. 25-26, 1992 against the population of the town of Khojaly.

Legislative bodies of some countries, as well as international organizations have recently adopted documents condemning the Khojaly genocide. Among them are Mexico, Pakistan, Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Panama, Peru, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sudan, the Czech Republic, Romania, 16 US states, as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and its Parliamentary Union.

The document, issued by Slovenia's National Council, recalled that 24 years will pass on Feb. 26 from the murder of 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women, 70 elderly people, as well as the disappearance of numerous civilians in Khojaly.

"This crime against humanity was condemned by many world countries," read the document.

In the decision, Slovenia's National Council also stressed its support for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and the need to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict under these principles.

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