YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Thousands of Armenia’s lay flowers at Armenia’s Genocide memorial at Dzizernagapert–to observe the 16th anniversary of the massacre of ethnic Armenia’s in the Azeri city of Sumgait.
The 1988 Sumgait killings were also marked in Mountainous Karabagh Republic–where leaders and thousands of citizens marched and lay wreaths at the memorial to the victims of the tragedy.
"The brutality of the pogroms shocked the world–while the reaction of then Soviet authorities was delayed and inadequate," said President Robert Kocharian in a statement that came as Armenia’s streamed to place flowers at the vast monument marking the 1915-23 genocide of Armenia’s in eastern Turkey. "The Sumgait killings originated a new wave of violence against the Armenian population of Karabagh–Gardman–Gandzak–and Baku," he stressed.
Kocharian said the chain of ethnically-motivated killings and deportations of Armenia’s in Azerbaijan "constitute all elemen’s of genocide."
Stressing that the perpetrators of the Sumgait massacres have gone unpunished–along with the war rhetoric of Azeri authorities–Kocharian pointed to the resulting murder of an Armenian officer in Budapest by an Azeri classmate. "The task of Armenia and Armenia’s across the world is to prevent repetitions of new Sumgaits. We shall ensure this in an orderly manner and through consolidation and increase of our forces?to respect the memory of our innocent victims and a guarantee our national security."
Senior Parliament member from the ARF block Armen Rustamian–speaking at the gathering said–"It makes no sense to talk about some concessions [on Karabagh] without security guarantees. We don’t have guarantees that other Armenia’s will not be ax-murdered like Gurgen."