Commemorative plaque dedicated to Khojaly genocide to open in Slovenia

Azay Guliyev, chairman of the Council on State Support to Non-Governmental Organizations under the Auspices of the President of Azerbaijan, will pay a visit to Slovenia on May 30, the Council said in a message May 29.

As part of the visit, Guliyev will attend the opening ceremony of the commemorative plaque dedicated to the Khojaly genocide on the territory of the Dobrava Memorial Park complex in Maribor city. The plaque was prepared with the financial support of the Council.

The ceremony will be held on May 31 and is organized with the direct support of the Azerbaijani embassies in Austria and Slovenia. The president of Slovenia and chairman of the Upper House of the Slovenian Parliament are expected to take part in the ceremony along with other officials and public representatives.

The visit will end June 1.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

On Feb. 25-26, 1992, the Armenian armed forces, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops, stationed in Khankendi, committed an act of genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly. As many as 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people were killed in the massacre. Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people still remains unknown.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.