By Akbar Mammadov
Head of Nagorno-Karabakh’s Azerbaijani Community MP Tural Ganjaliyev has said that Armenia will be held accountable for terror acts against Azerbaijani civilians, including the one in occupied Khankandi in 1988.
Ganjaliyev made the remarks during the anniversary of Khankandi massacre on September 18.
Speaking at a press conference held on September 18, Ganjaliyev said: “We have not forgotten the massacres committed by Armenians in Khankendi on September 18, 1988. As residents of Khankendi, we are sending a message to the adversary that with the help of our glorious army, we will rid Khankendi of unnecessary terrorist elements.”
He also noted that Armenia's policy of aggression is coming to an end.
“We will hold those terrorists accountable. This occupation is temporary. The armies of Armenia and its supporters will not be able to stand against our will. The truth is on our side. We are sending a clear message to the adversary that we will return to our lands soon,” he stressed.
Furthermore, the head of the community commented on draft law "on genocide issues" discussed in the Armenian parliament. Ganjaliyev said that the draft law is aimed at deceiving and confusing the world community.
“Armenia is taking such deceptive and distracting steps to cover up its military aggression against Azerbaijan. With this draft law, the Armenian parliament often brings up the issue of so-called ‘genocide’ on the agenda. But as a party that committed the genocide against Azerbaijanis in Khojaly, it is ridiculous that they brought up this draft law on the agenda.”
Ganjaliyev stressed that former Armenian presidents Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan were the ones who committed the Khojaly genocide and had their hands covered in blood.
“I think that instead of passing a draft law, the Armenian parliament should judge the involvement of Sargsyan and Kocharyan in the [Khojaly] genocide. They may seem sincere in this case. Otherwise, the views of the Armenian side, which speaks about the genocide in this form, seem insincere.”
The pogroms against Azerbaijanis by Armenians in Khankendi began on September 18, 1988 when Armenian armed groups launched an attack to the houses of Azerbaijanis living in the city.
On September 18, 1988, Armenian forces burned a total of 59–63 houses and by September 20, Armenians looted more than 270 houses, beating their tenants, and tossing them to the streets. Azerbaijanis' home phones were also cut off as the raids were planned in advance, with the help of Armenian nationalist emissaries from the Armenian SSR.
Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, which along with seven adjacent regions was occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and around one million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France has been mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict since the signing of the volatile cease-fire agreement in 1994. The Minsk Group’s efforts have resulted in no progress and to this date, Armenia has failed to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) that demand the withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz