OIC urges Armenia to leave Azerbaijani land

OIC chief issues appeal after 25th anniversary of Khojali massacre, in which Azerbaijani civilians were killed by Armenian forces.

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Yousef al-Othaimeen has called for the “immediate” and “unconditional” withdrawal of Armenian forces from occupied Azerbaijani territories. 

Al-Othaimeen made the assertion at a Monday ceremony in the Saudi city of Jeddah to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Khojali massacre, in which hundreds of Azeri civilians -- including children -- were killed by Armenian forces.

“The Khojali massacre was the result of Armenia’s illegitimate occupation of Azeri territory,” he said.

Al-Othaimeen called on OIC member-states to urge Armenia to end its occupation of Azeri land and “abide by international law and respect Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity”.

The massacre, which took place on Feb. 25 and 26 of 1992, is regarded as one of the bloodiest episodes in the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan (1988-1994) for control of the latter’s Upper Karabakh region, which remains occupied by Armenia.

Following the Soviet Union’s dissolution, Armenian forces took over the town of Khojali in Upper Karabakh after battering it with artillery and tank fire.

The two-hour offensive left 613 Azerbaijanis dead, including 116 women and 63 children, and left almost 500 others critically injured, according to official Azerbaijani figures.

Roughly 150 of the 1,275 Azerbanis captured at the time by Armenian forces still remain missing.


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