Riigikogu group issues condolence statement on Khojaly massacre anniversary

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“The Barrel of Peace” in Ararat Brandy Factory is the only place where the Azerbaijani flag is displayed in Armenia. It is planned to open the barrel when peace is established between the two countries. Source: Karine Ghazaryan / Private collection.

The Estonia-Azerbaijan Riigikogu group has issued a statement expressing its condolences to the nation of Azerbaijan ahead of the 29th anniversary of the Khojaly massacre.

"We share the pain of the Azerbaijani people over the Khojaly massacre, which led to the deaths of over 600 innocent civilians, including many children, women, and elderly," the statement reads.

"We condemn in the strongest terms the crimes against humanity committed against Azerbaijani civilians on the night of February 25-26 1992. The perpetrators of this mass murder must be held accountable."

The incident came during the peak of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, over the disputed territory of the same name. The figure of 613 is claimed by Azerbaijani authorities, while a figure of at least 200 deaths is universally accepted internationally.

The massacre was conducted by Armenian and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) forces.

Ceasefire signed last November

The Riigikogu group statement also noted the recent peace deal, brokered by Russia, which came in November last year, after a rekindling of conflict in September.

"We welcome the termination of all the military activities between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. We express our support for the efforts of the Republic of Azerbaijan towards lasting peace, integration, and development of the released territories.," the statement continues.

Nagorno-Karabakh, literally "mountainous Karabakh", is a disputed territory which lies wholly within the present-day Azerbaijan borders. Part of the remainder of the Karabakh region lies within Armenia's borders, while the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is an Azerbaijani exclave separated from the rest of the country by Armenian territory.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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