Appeal of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev to the people of Azerbaijan in connection with anniversary of ‎Khojaly genocide - February 24, 2001‎

Dear compatriots!‎

Today we revere with a sense of sorrow the memory of victims in the Khojaly tragedy, gone ‎down to history of our people and humanity as one of the most terrible mass acts of ‎terrorism. On February 26, 1992, the Armenian armed formations equipped with most modern ‎weapons with the support and direct participation of Motor Riffle regiment 366 of the ‎former Soviet Union razed Khojaly to the ground and committed massacre of helpless ‎innocent peaceful people - children, women and the old.‎

This cruel act of aggression became an unprecedented crime implemented not only against ‎Khojaly population, but also against the whole humanity. In XX century the Armenians ‎repeatedly commited aggression and genocide against the Azerbaijani people. But the most ‎terrible of them was perpetrated in Khojaly.‎‎

However, it should be noted that the defenders of Khojaly showed themselves as heroes, ‎they struggled in the unequal battle till the last drop and demonstrated an example of true heroism and ‎courage.‎

Turning back to the Khojaly tragedy, we witness the feebleness and weakness of the ‎leadership of Azerbaijan that was conducting to this tragedy by criminal negligence to their duties. ‎The authorities of the republic responsible for providing the defense of every citizen ‎were absolutely inactive and indifferent to the fate of the people and paid its main attention ‎to the struggle for power.‎

Unfortunately the world community remained indifferent to this terrible tragedy, act of ‎genocide, which took place before the eyes our contemporaries and didn't give it a moral and ‎political evaluation.‎

The current leadership of Azerbaijan forces the task of creating the objective view of ‎the Khojaly tragedy, the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, the problem of the Nagorno-Karabakh for the ‎political circles and international community and show all the details, the character and scale ‎of crimes committed against our people, unmask the Armenian nationalists, who pretend to ‎be an oppressed and long-suffering nation. On the one hand it is our sacred duty before the memory of ‎the victims of genocide, on the other hand, this is necessary for not giving an opportunity to similar ‎inhuman actions in the world.‎

Revering the memory of Khojaly victims, we think about the conscience and civic ‎duty before them. The right way is to live by the ideals for which the heroes of ‎Khojaly gave their life, defend the independent Azerbaijan ensure the inviolability of ‎its borders and territorial integrity.‎

On this day of national sorrow I bow to the sacred memory of the innocent victims of Khojaly ‎tragedy, express my condolences to their families and relatives, to all our people. May ‎our martyrs rest in peace.‎

Heydar Aliyev

The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Baku city, February 24, 2001‎