Appeal to the people of Azerbaijan in connection with ninth anniversary of Khojaly genocide

Dear compatriots!

Today we revere with the sense of sorrow the memory of victims of Khojali tragedy, went down in history of our people and humanity as one of the terrible mass act of terrorism. On February 26, 1992 Armenian armed formations using the most modern equipment with support and direct participation of infantry guards regiment No 366 of former Soviet Union razed to the ground Khojali city and committed massacre of helpless innocent peaceful people - children, women and elders.
This cruel act of aggression became the unprecedented crime implemented not only against Khojali population, but also against the whole humanity. In the XXth century Armenians repeatedly carried out aggression and genocide against Azerbaijani people. But the most terrible of them was implemented in Khojali.
However, is to be noted that the defenders of Khojali showed themselves as heroes, they struggled in unequal battle till last drop and showed the example of true heroism and courage.
Turning back to the Khojali tragedy, we become the witness of the feebleness and weakness of those time leadership of Azerbaijan which permitted this tragedy by criminal negligence to their duties. The authorities of the republic that was responsible for providing defense of every citizen was 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 the this terrible tragedy, act of genocide, which took place before our contemporaries eyes, and didn't give it the moral and political evaluation.
There is the big task for the current leadership of Azerbaijan to create the objective view of the Khojali tragedy, Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, the problem of Nagorni-Garabakh for the political circles and international community and show all details the character and scale of crimes, committed against our people, unmask the armenian nationalists, which pretend to be oppressed and long-suffering. On the one hand this is our holy duty for the memory of genocide victims, on the other hand this is necessary for not to give an opportunity for similar inhuman actions in the world.
Revering the memory of Khojali genocide's victims we think about the conscience and civic duty to them. The right way is that that we must live by the ideals for which the heroes of Khojali gave their life, defend the independent Azerbaijan state, secure the inviolability of its border and territorial integrity.
This day of national sorrow I bowed before the sacred memory of innocent victims of Khojali tragedy, expressed my condolences to their families and relatives, all our people. May our shehids (martyrs) rest in peace.

Heydar Aliyev
The President of Republic of Azerbaijan
Baku city, February 24, 2001