Sargsyan took part in Khojaly massacre: Parliament speaker
ANKARA - Milliyet
Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek. AA photoArmenian President Serzh Sargsyan took part in the killing of civilians during the Armenia-Azerbaijan war in 1992, Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek alleged yesterday.
It is ironic that Armenia has accused Turkey of genocide, “while one of the biggest massacres of the recent past was carried out in front of the entire world in 1992 in Khojaly village,” Çiçek said today during an event to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the passing of former Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev. “The current Armenian president, Serzh Sargsyan took part in that massacre.”
Çiçek did not elaborate on Sarsyan’s alleged role in the killings.
One of Azerbaijan’s most pressing issues is the occupation of 20 percent of its territory by Armenia, Çiçek said, adding that Armenia had committed other crimes against humanity by destroying the natural resources in the lands it occupied.
Azerbaijan's territorial unity a priority
Çiçek said the protection of Azerbaijan's rights in Nagorno-Karabakh, the contested Azerbaijani region that Armenia sought to claim during the 1990s war, was a top priority in Turkish foreign policy.
"The Nagorno-Karabakh issue is the most important problem that threatens peace in the Caucasus," Çiçek said.
“The ending of Armenian occupation on Azerbaijan land is an absolute must for the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia,” he said.
Hundreds of ethnic Azeri civilians from the town of Khojaly were killed on Feb. 25, 1992, during the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in what became known as the Khojaly Massacre. According to Azerbaijani sources, the massacre was committed by ethnic Armenian armed forces.
Some 613 civilians were killed in the massacre, according to the official death toll provided by Azerbaijani authorities.
Armenia has officially denied involvement in the killings.