Commemorating the Khojaly Tragedyby Representative Virginia Foxx
Posted on 2013-02-25
of north carolina
in the house of representatives
Monday, February 25, 2013
Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, since declaring its independence from the
Soviet Union, Azerbaijan has been a reliable friend and valuable ally
of the United States in a turbulent region. In this true spirit of
friendship, it seems appropriate for Congress to commemorate the
victims of the Khojaly tragedy as Azerbaijani people mark the 21st
anniversary of this event.
The town of Khojaly is located in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and was home to some 7,000 Azerbaijani citizens during the Armenian-Azerbaijani war. On February 25 and 26 of 1992, in a period of less than 12 hours, 613 citizens, including women and children, died at the hands of Armenian forces and Russian military troops.
Human rights organizations described the advancing forces as having committed unconscionable acts of violence against civilians as they fled. The bodies of fallen men, women and children were observed by foreign journalists who visited the region in the wake of the tragedy. Given our deepening ties with Azerbaijan, it is important for American citizens to remember this event.
Twenty-one years later, the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict has not yet been fully resolved. The anniversary of this horrible tragedy is an appropriate time to honor the victims of these atrocities and reflect on the need for all parties to work together to bring a swift end to this conflict. I urge my colleagues to join me in standing with Azerbaijanis as they commemorate this tragedy.