Member of the House of Representative of the US State of Arizona Donald Shooter has sent an open letter to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan over the killing of Sahiba Guliyeva (born in 1976) and her two-year-old granddaughter Zahra Guliyeva as a result of shelling of Azerbaijan’s Alkhanli village by Armenians on July 4.
A copy of the letter has been sent to the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry told APA.
The letter points out that murdering innocent civilians, let alone children, is absolutely unacceptable in any circumstance, constituting a serious violation of international humanitarian and human rights law.
Shooter regarded the ongoing military occupation of around 20% of Azerbaijan’s sovereign territory by Armenia, which has led to the total ethnic cleansing of all the occupied areas of around 800,000 Azerbaijani civilians, as one of the darkest pages in the modern European history.
In his letter, the Arizona lawmaker noted with a deep regret that this injustice continues to cause much suffering to hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani refugees, who have been deprived of their basic rights as a result of this illegal military occupation of their homes and lands.
"It is quite regrettable that the legally binding resolutions passed by the UN Security Council in 1993 demanding the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Armenian troops from Azerbaijan’s occupied regions have not been fulfilled. As a result, the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict remains the largest threat to stability in the South Caucasus region.
"The atrocities that 'were committed against the civilian population during the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, such as the brutal massacre of over 600 Azerbaijani civilians, including hundreds of children, women and elderly, by Armenia’s armed forces in the town of Khojaly in February 1992, which the Human Rights Watch called “the largest massacre in the conflict,” are a sobering reminder of horrible damages wars and conflicts can inflict upon innocent civilians," the letter reads.
Shooter said that targeting civilians is wrong and should be vehemently condemned. He harshly condemned the killing of little Zahra and her grandmother Sahiba, in the strongest possible terms, and called on Sargsyan and his Government to do the same and to launch a serious investigation in order to find and bring to justice the culprits behind this horrific act and heinous crime. He also urged Sargsyan to take all necessary measures to make sure that such tragic incidents are never repeated again.