Azerbaijanis around the world commemorates one of the most tragic days in their history on 26 February of each year. 16th year has passed since hundreds of innocent men, women and children from the town of Khojaly in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan were slaughtered by Armenian troops. The Khojaly massacre at the hands of Armenian troops stands as one of history’s most chillingly brutal military acts against unarmed civilians.
Over the night from 25 to 26 February 1992, the Khojaly city of Azerbaijan was savagely destroyed by the Armenian armed forces, the defenders and residents of Khojaly were massacred. Hundreds of peaceful residents, the children, women, elderly, whole families were annihilated, and their corpses were disfigured by unprecedented tortures. Such massacre committed in the eyes of world community at the end of XX century, was, for its cruelty and brutality, not only against the Azerbaijan people, but also in the whole, against the humanity.
Today, it is not secret for anybody that the Khojaly tragedy was a bloody page of the genocide and ethnic cleansing policy pursued along hundreds years by militant Armenian nationalists against the Turkic and Azerbaijan peoples. This policy conducted in separate periods for interests of numerous states – by all admitted and non-admitted means – in political, economic, military, terror and ideological ways was continued, our compatriots were oppressed, the historical Azerbaijan lands were occupied by Armenians and seized. In the end of 80s of last century, Armenia’s territorial claims against Azerbaijan led to large-scale military conflict. As a result of this insidious policy, 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territories were occupied by Armenian armed forces, tens of thousands of people died and wounded, hundreds of thousands country-fellows were driven from their homelands and became refugees and IDPs.
By committing the Khojlay genocide, the Armenian nationalists followed artful political and tactical goals. They, in this way, wanted to break fighting will of our people, and oblige it to reconcile to the fact of lost of our historical lands. But the enemy failed, our people demonstrated a sample of high will and heroism in battles for sovereignty of our state and territorial integrity.
Khojaly tragedy also pointed out how dangerous and catastrophic is the internal power struggle for our state. At that time, both the official leadership of country and the political forces able to influence on the situation, showed absolute indifference to destiny of the people. The government made no step to give full and operative information on this terrible crime to the world community, while the opposition used this bloody tragedy to assume power on the wave of dissatisfied people.
Only after national leader Heydar Aliyev returned to power, the Khojaly tragedy was politically and legally assessed with impressive measures taken to bring the truth on the genocide to the world’s countries’ and international community’s notice.
The Government of Azerbaijan works purposefully and consistently to raise the world community’s awareness about the crimes committed by Armenian chauvinist and nationalists against Azerbaijanis, in particular, about the Khojaly genocide, and to have this tragedy recognized as the genocide. Unlike Armenians, we do not seek any political, financial, territorial and other gains. Our aim is to restore the historical justice and unmask perpetrators in order to bring them to the international justice. Therefore, the threat that Armenian nationalists’ and chauvinists’ ethnic separatism and ideology of hatred and terror against other nations pose the world must be disclosed. It is our civic and human duty to the spirits of the Khojaly hero shahids.
The Azerbaijan state and society are experiencing the period of construction and development. Azerbaijan achieved leading positions in the world in the terms of economic growth rates. Our country is the main stakeholder and initiator of the regional and international energy-communication projects. The state program on the socio-economic development of regions and other social and infrastructure projects are being successfully realized. Our state’s economic and military capacity and international prestige increases every day with our people’s patriotism and national self-consciousness also strengthening. A number of international organizations, heads of influential states, their parliaments recognize Armenia as the aggressive state and insist on their giving up the occupied Azerbaijan’s lands. Aggressive Armenia found itself left out of all regional projects and faced isolation. These are our principal arguments and basis of our success and strength to fulfill our tasks in the current situation, and find a solution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in line with international legal standards.
Today, along with the state’s official bodies, all our citizens, compatriots, the public must work continuously and consistently to inform world’s parliaments and international community about the truth and facts on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh the policy of genocide against Azerbaijanis. Along with being pleased with the work done, I would like to state that the measures must be more comprehensive, well-planned and coordinated. The newly formed association created by the Azerbaijan and Turkish Diaspora organizations, coordination of activity may be of great significance. In our fight, we rely on our strength, potential, international law and solidarity of world Azerbaijanis.
On this sorrowful day, we pay tribute to Khojaly shahids and heroes, and express our condolences to their relatives and all people of Azerbaijan. May Allah rest their souls in peace?