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Victims of Khojaly genocide commemorated in Ankara

The Index - Center for Human Capital Development of Azerbaijan has organized a commemorative ceremony on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the Khojaly Genocide in Ankara.

The event, which was held within the “Justice for Khojaly!” international campaign, initiated by vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva, was attended by Head of the Public and Political Affairs Department at the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Ali Hasanov, Chief advisor to Turkish President Ibrahim Kalin, as well as members of Azerbaijani and Turkish parliaments, scientists and cultural figures, students studying in Ankara.

The participants first viewed an exhibition at the Congresium International Convention & Exhibition Centre featuring rare photos of the Khojaly Genocide and Azerbaijan`s Karabakh region, and watched a documentary highlighting the consequences of Armenians` aggressive policy against Azerbaijan.

Chairman of the Index Rashad Abdullayev made a speech at the official part of the event.

Addressing the ceremony, Head of the Public and Political Affairs Department at the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Ali Hasanov described the Khojaly Genocide as “one of the most terrible crimes that Armenians have committed against Azerbaijan and Turkey”. Mr. Hasanov said: “By confessing military crimes that took place in front of the world`s eyes and even expressing their proud of committing it, former and current leaders of aggressive Armenia, in fact, challenge the peaceful world community to fight. “The aggressive policy of Armenia is a purposeful aggression against peaceful life, moral and psychological stability, intellectual energy of the Azerbaijani people,” he noted.

Mr. Hasanov underlined that thousands of events commemorating the Khojaly Genocide were being held across the world annually.

“The aim is to inform the world community on aggression against the Azerbaijani people and expose Armenian lies, including so-called Armenian genocide.”

Chief advisor to Turkish President Ibrahim Kalin said the Turkish people have always been in solidary with Azerbaijan. He stressed Turkey wanted peace and stability between Turkey and Armenia, Azerbaijan and Armenia and in the whole Caucasus.

“For this purpose, Armenia first must quit its aggressive policy, Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs must return to their homelands, groundless claims against Azerbaijan and Turkey must be stopped,” he stressed.

Head of Turkey-Azerbaijan Interparliamentary Friendship Group Necdet Unuvar called the Khojaly Genocide “a military crime against humanity”, adding “the world community does not have a moral right to be indifferent to this issue”.

The participants also heard a speech by Rashad Zeynalli who was born in Azerbaijan `s Karabakh region.

Other speakers prayed for shahids, and expressed hope that the world community would continue recognizing the Khojaly tragedy as genocide, and resolutions and decisions of the UN and other international organizations ensuring Azerbaijan`s territorial integrity would be implemented.

Following the ceremony, Mr. Hasanov was interviewed by journalists.