Address of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev to the Azerbaijani people on the eighth anniversary of the Khojali genocide - Washington, February 25, 2000

Dear compatriots!

Eight years have passed since the Khojali massacre, which is one of the most brutal terrorist acts in the history of mankind. Together with Motor Rifle Regiment 366 of the former Soviet Army, the Armenian armed forces destroyed the city of Khojali and murdered hundreds of innocent people, including women, children and the old with unparalelled ferocity.

The Armenians committed massacres of the Azerbaijani people several times in the 20th century. But the most tragic one happened in Khojali. That tragedy wounded the entire Azerbaijani people. But the defenders of Khojali who demonstrated heroism against the Armenian armed forces, wrote a historic page of our history.

The then authorities of Azerbaijan bear responsibility for the Khojali tragedy. Instead of helping the defenders of Khojaly, who were besieged for a long time, the authorities remained indifferent to the situation. The Khojali genocide was just used for political debates, not for disclosing the brutality of the Armenian terrorists.

A lot must be done in order to inform the world community about the Khojali tragedy and all horrors of the Armenian-Azerbaijani war.

No doubt, the policy of Azerbaijan for the peaceful solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem gives hope that our territorial integrity will be restored and our IDPs, including the Khojali people, will return home soon.

I believe that our people are ready to maintain our independence and liberate our occupied territories. The Azerbaijani government will take steps in order to punish the organizers of the Khojali tragedy and other crimes committed against the Azerbaijani people.

I express my condolence to the Azerbaijani people on the anniversary of the Khojali tragedy. May all martyrs rest in peace!

Heydar Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Newspaper "Azerbaycan", February 26, 2000