Sargsyan, his predecessor responsible for Khojaly genocide: Azerbaijani official
- 10 February 2017
The Khojaly genocide is one of the biggest atrocities committed by Armenians against the Azerbaijani people over the past 100 years, said Arastun Mehdiyev, deputy head of the department of public and political affairs at the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration.
He made the remarks at the presentation of the newly-developed bill on international crimes, held at the Azerbaijani parliament on Friday.
Genocide is considered the gravest crime by the international community, said the PA official, stressing the need to punish the perpetrators of the Khojaly genocide.
“Here are many facts about the perpetrators of the Khojaly genocide,” he said, accusing Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and his predecessor of committing the genocide.
“The Khojaly genocide was committed by Armenian President Sargsyan, his predecessor Kocharian and other people represented in the Armenian government,” Mehdiyev said.
“Many of them in their speeches do not even try to hide their sins. Sargsyan even admitted his direct involvement in the Khojaly genocide and tried to justify his actions,” he added.
The PA official pointed to the order signed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide.
“Despite the numerous events held worldwide in commemoration of the Khojaly genocide, the issue has not been legally addressed in a proper way. Thus we have a lot to do. This is a duty shared by all state bodies,” he said.
Mehdiyev said it is necessary to strengthen political and information warfare and achieve a legal assessment of the Khojaly genocide at international level.
“The number of countries that officially recognize the Khojaly genocide is increasing thanks to the work done in the field of information,” said the PA official, pointing out that more than 20 US states have already recognized this crime as a massacre.
Mehdiyev said he welcomes the preparation of the bill “On the prevention of international crimes and punishment of their perpetrators”.
“This document will contribute to the completion of the work from a legal standpoint and will allow us to punish those who violate Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity,” he added.
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.