"Azerbaijan continues to suffer from the Armenian occupation" - 26th anniversary of Khojaly genocide - Peter Tase - PHOTO - VIDEO | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

23 August, Friday

"Azerbaijan continues to suffer from the Armenian occupation" - 26th anniversary of Khojaly genocide - Peter Tase - PHOTO - VIDEO

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As the Republic of Azerbaijan commemorates the 26th anniversary of the Khojaly Genocide, the international community continues to be reluctant and ambiguous in solving the Nagorno-Karabakh Armed Conflict that is inflicted and instigated by the Armenian Armed Forces in the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan for three decades.  
In 2017, the Khojaly Genocide in its 25th anniversary was recognized with a special resolution approved by the National Senate of the Republic of Colombia, entitled “Illegal occupation of the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan”. Meanwhile a number of key European countries have not played a constructive role in peacefully solving the Armenia – Azerbaijan armed conflict, making the Caucasus a volatile region where Azerbaijani civilian population and over one million IDPs, have lost their family members, houses, properties and everything they gained with enormous sacrifices. 
Khojaly genocide and documents
On July 10-11, 2017, Cote d'Ivoire hosted the 44th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states.  During this meeting all Ministers of Foreign Affairs unanimously approved the resolution regarding Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The resolution entitled "The aggression of the Republic of Armenia against the Republic of Azerbaijan" demands the implementation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and expresses concern that Armenia has not yet implemented the demands articulated from international community.  
Furthermore, all member states agreed to refrain from providing any ammunitions and military equipment to Armenia while not allowing the use of their countries’ territories for the transportation of these supplies.  At the same time, acts of destruction, plundering and vandalism of archaeological, cultural and religious monuments in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan were strongly condemned. The resolution called for the earliest settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict on the basis of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the internationally recognized borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in accordance to the principles of international law, relevant UN Security Council resolutions, as well as PACE documents and resolutions
Moreover, the Council of Foreign Ministers decided to instruct the Permanent Representatives of Member States to the United Nations in New York, to give full support to the issue of territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, on every voting session in the UN General Assembly. The resolution also reaffirms its total solidarity and full support for the efforts undertaken by the Government and people of Azerbaijan to defend their country.
The resolution titled "Solidarity with the Victims of Khojaly Massacre of 1992" strongly condemns the massive atrocities against the Azerbaijani civilians and military personnel committed by the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia in the town of Khojaly, Republic of Azerbaijan, in February 1992, and other occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan during the ongoing conflict. The OIC resolution highlighted the activity of the "Justice for Khojaly" International civil awareness campaign, and invites all its Member States to continue supporting this campaign and participate actively.
The July 4th, 2017, attacks of Armenia in the Azerbaijani village of Alkhanly, were a women and a two year old girl were brutally killed, constitutes yet another serious violation of international humanitarian and human rights law by Armenia. 
Furthermore, resolute and targeted measures by the international community are required to end impunity for such violations.
It is difficult to interpret and explain the motifs and reasons why the international community maintains a double standard attitude in regards to the Khojaly Genocide and the Armenian Occupation of Azerbaijani Sovereign Territories. While the European Union member countries and its institutions keep silent, embrace double standards and advocate for the ongoing status – quo in the Upper Karabakh region (sovereign territory of Azerbaijan) Europe’s geostrategic interests and its overall security measures will be jeopardized. As Azerbaijan continues to suffer from the Armenian occupation, such a security and geostrategic crisis will very soon be looming over Brussels.  
What happened on February 25-26, 1992?
On the night of February 25-26, 1992, the armed forces of Armenia, with the participation of irregular armed bands and terrorist groups, as well as with direct participation of the infantry guards regiment No. 366 of the former USSR located in Khankendi, surrounded the town of Khojaly and perpetrated an atrocious massacre against the local civilian population. In a few hours 613 civilians were killed, including 106 women, 63 children, and 70 elderly citizens.  
Furthermore, 1275 inhabitants were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 residents remains unknown to this day. In the course of this massacre, more than 1000 inhabitants of Khojaly were severely maimed, including 76 children under the age of 6 years; 10 families were completely wiped out, 26 children lost both of their parents, and 130 children lost one of their parents. 
As an integral part of Armenia’s occupation policy against Azerbaijan, ethnic cleansing and genocide strategy have been heavily implemented against the Azerbaijani innocent civilians. The Khojaly Genocide was followed by innumerable flagrant violations of norms and principles of international law, human rights and breach of fundamental freedoms.
The ruthless massacres of Armenia against Azerbaijani civilians are not encompassed only by the Khojaly Genocide. The Khojaly Genocide is part of Armenia’s ethnic cleansing policy against Azerbaijani people that is executed step by step in the XIX-XX centuries in Nakhchivan, Ganja, Baku, Kalbajar, Agdam, Jabrail and in the Irevan khanate. The truth about all of these crimes committed by Armenians must be conveyed to the international community; the Republic of Azerbaijan has taken decisive and orderly measures to address Armenian government’s terrorist attitude. Many countries and international organizations have recognized the Khojaly tragedy as Genocide with the approval of official resolutions. The Parliaments of Colombia, Djibouti, Mexico, Peru, Pakistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Romania, Czech Republic, Honduras, Jordan, Guatemala, Panama, Sudan, as well as 16 state assemblies of the United States of America have adopted documents recognizing and condemning the Khojaly Genocide. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation is the first international organization that recognized Armenia as an aggressor and the Khojaly tragedy as Genocide. 
In Mali, a special resolution was adopted at the XII session of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States, held in January 2017; it recognized Khojaly tragedy as genocide, while supporting the “Justice for Khojaly” campaign and called upon the 54 member states to bring Armenian murderers before justice.
The ongoing Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is threatening peace, undermines Europe’s security, regional stability and comprehensive economic development in the Caucasus Region. Sadly, the decades’ long aggression orchestrated by Armenian Armed Forces against the civilians of Azerbaijan and the internationally recognized borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan remain violated and subjugated. 
As a result of Armenian ethnic cleansing policy more than one million Azerbaijanis became refugees and IDPs. The norms and principles of international law have been flagrantly violated; while the role of international organizations is well known. The UN Security Council adopted 4 resolutions demanding immediate, full and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian occupying forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, none of them is implemented. Azerbaijan supports peace and is willing to resolve the Upper Karabakh conflict by peaceful means.  The conflict must be resolved on the basis of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 
Solving the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh armed conflict on the basis of afore mentioned principles will end injustice and bring peace, security and economic growth in the region.  The Republic of Azerbaijan has shown to the world that it makes every effort to ensure peace and stability in the region. Baku supports the efforts of international community in the fight against terrorism and has made great contributions in this field.  Every country that supports international laws, territorial sovereignty and integrity, must actively support the just position of Azerbaijan. 
Peter Tase
Political analyst, historian


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