On 31 March Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev visited a monument to victims of Azerbaijani genocide. Fresh wreathes were put at the memorial and prayers were given. Attending the ceremony were state and government officials, MPs, representatives of the diplomatic mission accredited in Azerbaijan.
Former late President Heydar Aliyev issued a decree on March 26, 1998 to commemorate March 31 at the state level as the Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis. The Azerbaijani parliament appealed to the UN, the Council of Europe, OSCE. Interparliamentary Union and other international organizations with proposal on recognition of the genocide committed by Armenian nationalists and government against Azerbaijani people in the 19th and 20th centuries.
A genocide policy started upon violent annexation of the North Azerbaijan to the Russian empire. At the order Nikolay I Armenian families were replaced from Iran and Turkey to the territory of Azerbaijan. They were mainly settled in most favorable fruitful lands of Karabakh, Shamakhi, and Irevan Khanates. There were established historic pre-conditions for the establishment of Armenian state in South Caucasus. Goal-directed policy had been pursued over two centuries for deportation of Azerbaijanis fro their historic lands. The history and historic documents were falsified, different terror organizations were established to conduct anti-Azerbaijani actions.
Since 1988 so far the undeclared war led by Armenia against Azerbaijan has been continuing. In 1989 Armenian carried out ethnic cleansing 250,000 Azerbaijanis were deported from their historic lands. The residents of Nagorno-Karabakh and 6 adjacent regions fell victims of the Armenian terror. As a result of Armenian aggression 20% of the Azerbaijani territory is under Armenian occupation, 1 million Azerbaijanis became homeless in the own territory. The genocide committed in Khojaly against the civilians in February 1992 by the Armenian armed divisions will remain in the history as an unseen act of barbarism directed against mankind.