Address of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev to the Azerbaijani people on the fifth anniversary of the Khojali genocide - Baku, February 25, 1997

Dear compatriots!

Five years ago the Armenian armed forces committed the Khojali massacre, which is one of the most brutal terror acts in the history. Thousands of people of Khojali were attacked by the forces equipped with modern weapons. The city of Khojali was destroyed, hundreds of innocent people, including women, children and old were murdered with unparalelled ferocity.

The betrayal and indifference of the then authorities of Azerbaijan, as well as the anarchy in the country were the other factors which let the massacre happen. Remained besieged for a long time, the population of Khojali did not receive any real help.

The Khojali genocide, which is a crime against the whole mankind, demonstrated the nature of the Armenian aggression. Therefore, the guilty must be punished by the world community.

I want to assure our people that the organizers of this crime will be punished.

I express my condolense to the Azerbaijani people on the anniversary of the Khojali tragedy. May all martyrs rest in peace! I call the Azerbaijani people to be more courageous and struggle for the independence of our country. With our solidarity we shall achieve the justice.

Heydar Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

"Heydar Aliyev: Our independence is perpetual" (speeches, statements, interviews, letters, addresses, decrees), Volume 8, Baku - 1998, page 401