Hikmet Hajiyev: Khojaly genocide - crime against humanity (UPDATE)

Details added (first version posted at 10:57)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb. 24

By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:

Khojaly genocide is a crime against humanity, Assistant of the President of Azerbaijan, Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmet Hajiyev said at the event titled "Refugee Women's Call for Justice: Ensuring Their Needs on the Agenda for Peace and Security", Trend reports Feb. 24.

Hajiyev stressed that as a result of the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, one fifth of Azerbaijan's territory was occupied, more than one million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced persons, and more than 20,000 Azerbaijanis died during military operations.

"Today's event takes place on the eve of the next anniversary of the Khojaly genocide. Four UN Security Council resolutions condemn the Armenian occupation, reflecting support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within internationally recognized borders. These resolutions also reflect the humanitarian challenges that Azerbaijan has faced. The resolutions require the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Azerbaijani territories. They remain valid until executed," Hikmet Hajiyev said.

Hajiyev stressed that the representatives of the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno Karabakh play an important role in bringing the voice of fairness of Azerbaijan to the world.

"Azerbaijan is a supporter of the settlement of the conflict in accordance with international law and within the framework of its territorial integrity," Hajiyev added.

Hajiyev noted that during the Khojaly genocide, 613 people were killed, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly.

"During the events in Khojaly, 1,275 people were captured, 787 became crippled, 150 people went missing. Over 16 countries recognized the Khojaly tragedy as genocide. The UN Security Council adopted four resolutions on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which sharply condemns the use of force by Armenia against Azerbaijan, emphasizes the inadmissibility of the appropriation of land through military aggression, and once again confirmed the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan within internationally recognized borders. These resolutions also enshrined the humanitarian aspects and factors of the humanitarian catastrophe that Azerbaijan faced," Hikmet Hajiyev said. "The most important point in these documents is related to the demand for the unconditional and complete withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories."

"Azerbaijan takes all necessary measures to ensure the rights of refugees and internally displaced persons, including women, in their integration and strengthening their role in society. A draft National Plan of Action for 2020-2023 has been prepared taking into account obligations undertaken at the international level, in particular, related to the implementation of UN Security Council resolution No. 1325. In this context, I would like to note the special role of the relevant state bodies, in particular, the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs. A draft National Action Plan has been developed with the involvement of representatives of civil society and NGOs involved in this process, and measures are currently being taken with the participation of government agencies to complete work in this direction," Hikmet Hajiyev added.

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.

During the Karabakh war, 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 Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

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