Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 23
By Ilkin Izzet – Trend:
There are no mass graves of the Armenians either on Azerbaijani or Turkish lands, Valeh Hajiyev, the first deputy chairman of the Azerbaijani State Committee for Work with Diaspora said at the Khojaly monument opening ceremony in Izmit, Turkey, the state committee told Trend April 23.
He said that the Turks did not commit an act of genocide against the Armenians at any stage in the history.
The Khojaly monument was erected by the municipality of Izmit in one of the city parks on the initiative of the Federation of Turkish-Azerbaijani Societies.
Hajiyev said that the opening of the monument on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Canakkale is of particular importance.
"The monument, erected in memory of the Khojaly genocide victims, is the best answer to the Armenian lie," he said.
Azerbaijani consul in Istanbul Rashad Eyvazov, the representatives of Turkish municipalities, NGOs, local communities, Azerbaijani and Turkish media, Azerbaijani students attended the monument opening ceremony.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
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 a result of the massacre, some 613 people were killed, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people. 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 remains unknown.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
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