Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) has issued a statement commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide.
“On the night to 26 February 1992, Armenian armed forces captured the town of Khojaly, killing hundreds of Azerbaijani civilians including women and children,” read the statement posted on the party’s website, APA reported.
“According to Human Rights Watch, this was the worst massacre seen during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Despite the OSCE Minsk Group making efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict since 1992, all the attempts to change the status quo have been failing so far,” said the statement. “The conflict is hindering the region’s development and stability. As the Social Democratic Party’s faction in the Bundestag, we want Germany to be a reliable partner for both Armenia and Azerbaijan.”
The Social Democrats said a lasting solution to the conflict is possible only through peaceful means, expressing their confidence that the commemoration of Khojaly genocide victims is an opportunity to take a step towards peace and reconciliation.
“The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should not be forgotten. A peaceful settlement of the conflict would lead to emergence of positive economic and social impulses in the region. Stability in the South Caucasus is of great interest for Germany and Europe as a whole,” said the statement.
At the same time, Chair of the Germany–South Caucasus Parliamentary Friendship Group at Bundestag Karin Strenz issued a statement condemning the Khojaly genocide.
“The German Bundestag sees peace as a main condition for Europe's stability. A major step towards the settlement of the conflict is an expression of regret and remorse over the inhuman acts committed in Khojaly. This would be an important step towards the restoration of peace in the South Caucasus,” Strenz noted.
On February 25-26, 1992, Armenia’s 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. A total of 1,000 civilians became disabled in the onslaught. Eight families were completely annihilated, 130 children lost one parent, while 25 lost both parents. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people (68 women, 26 children) still remains unknown.