US Congressman Steve Cohen commemorates Khojaly massacre victims

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Washington, March 10, AZERTAC

US Congressman Steve Cohen has commemorated the victims of the Khojaly massacre as he made remarks at the Congress.

“This week marks the 23rd anniversary of a terrible event in the history of Azerbaijan: the massacre of hundreds of people in the town of Khojaly in what was the largest killing of ethnic Azerbaijani civilians in the course of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict,” said Mr Cohen. “Khojaly, which is located in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, was once home to 7,000 people. That was before Armenian armed forces descended on the town on February 26, 1992, killing over 600 people--including 106 women and 83 children. Hundreds more became disabled due to their injuries. More than one hundred children lost one of their parents, and 25 children lost both parents. At least 8 families were completely wiped out.”

“More than two decades after a ceasefire went into effect, more than 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts, remains occupied and more than 1 million Azerbaijanis remain displaced from their homes. Ongoing violence along the line of contact surrounding occupied Azerbaijani territory reinforces the urgency of robust American participation in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Minsk Group as it works towards a peaceful resolution of the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict.”

Mr Cohen said Azerbaijan has been a strong partner of the United States and its ally in security and energy matters.

“I ask my colleagues to join me and our Azerbaijani friends in commemorating the devastation of Khojaly twenty-three years ago. As Azerbaijanis around the world recall this massacre and mourn the loss of loved ones, let us remember our support of peaceful efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and reforms that promote stability throughout the Southern Caucasus region,” he added.

Yusif Babanly

Special Correspondent

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