Kayseri, Turkey, Oct. 21
By Rufiz Hafizoglu, Ali Gasimov - Trend:
Every effort should be made to ensure that the Khojaly tragedy is recognized at all global platforms as the genocide of the Azerbaijani people, Russian MP, head of Russia-Azerbaijan Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group Dmitry Savelyev said.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Khojaly park and the monument to the victims of the Khojaly tragedy in the Turkish city of Kayseri.
“Those who gave orders to kill civilians during the Second World War faced justice in the court in Nuremberg, while the culprits of the terrible tragedy in Khojaly are still alive and hold leading political posts,” he said. “Dear colleagues, we must make every effort so that the tragedy in Khojaly is recognized at all global platforms as the genocide of the Azerbaijani people.”
He addressed foreign students who study at Kayseri universities and who attended the ceremony.
“When you finish your study and return to your home countries, tell your politicians and parliamentarians about the terrible tragedy that happened in Azerbaijan 26 years ago, so that your parliaments officially recognize this tragedy as the genocide of the Azerbaijani people,” he said. “Such tragedies should not be repeated.”
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 Feb. 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 in the massacre. Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both. 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.