Azerbaijani FM: Khojaly Genocide – example of Armenia’s ethnic cleansing policy
The Khojaly Genocide, which was followed by massive flagrant violations of norms and principles of international law, human rights and fundamental freedom, is an integral part of occupation policy and another ruthless example of ethnic cleansing and genocide policy of Armenia against Azerbaijan, said Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
He made the remarks Feb. 22 in Ankara at the international conference “Khojaly Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity and Terrorism.”
According to him, the merciless massacres of Armenia against Azerbaijanis do not confine with Khojaly Genocide.
“The Khojaly Genocide is a part of ethnic cleansing policy of Armenia against Azerbaijanis committed stage by stage in XIX-XX centuries in Nakhchivan, Ganja, Baku and Irevan khanate. The truth about all of these crimes committed by Armenians must be conveyed to the international community, the legal appraisal should be given as well,” said Mammadyarov, noting that Azerbaijan purposefully and sequentially takes steps in this regard.
“Namely, many states, as well as international organizations in their resolutions and statements recognized the Khojaly tragedy as Genocide,” he added.
The FM said unfortunately, for decades Armenians by distortion of history put so-called “Armenian Genocide” issue on international agenda and tried to use it for their political purposes.
“Especially, I would like to emphasize the role of Armenian diaspora in this regard. The role of diaspora in putting their invented history entitled the “Armenian Genocide” on the agenda of international organizations, different conferences and meetings is undeniable,” said Mammadyarov. “In spite of multiple suggestions of the Republic of Turkey regarding the opening archives, as well as proposals of Turkish and Armenian historians’ joint research of the issue, the Armenians and their intercessors declined them all. The reason is simple. They dread of truth.”
“By using this opportunity, I would like to recommend a joint action to be taken by diaspora organizations of the Turkic Council Member States against the Armenian anti-Turkic World propaganda,” added the Azerbaijani minister.
On February 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 as a result of the massacre. Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both. A total of 487 civilians became disabled as a result of the onslaught. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people still remains unknown.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.
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