USAN Letter on Occupation of Shusha Published on Santa Maria Times

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Justice for Azerbaijanis - http://santamariatimes.com/

This month is the 20th anniversary of destruction of the historic town of Shusha, once the centerpiece of a vibrant Azerbaijani classical music scene and home to the first opera in the Middle East.

It was renowned for its musicians. Now it’s in waste, a victim of Armenian destruction, occupation and ethnic cleansing.

Until 1992, Shusha was 92 percent Azerbaijani, while Shusha County was 98 percent Azerbaijani. Occupation followed the massacre of 613 Azerbaijani civilians by Armenian troops in the town of Khojaly just two months earlier.

Armenia conducted a war against the people of Azerbaijan in the sovereign territories of Azerbaijan. According to the U.N., there are nearly a million Azerbaijani refugees and displaced persons. The ethnic Azerbaijani population of Nagorno-Karabagh region and surrounding districts of Azerbaijan, numbering close to 800,000, were ethnically cleansed from the occupied territories, and for over 20 years have been unable to return to their homes.

As a member of the U.S. Azeris Network, on behalf of 400,000 Azerbaijani-Americans and over 40 million Azerbaijanis worldwide, I urge the U.S. government to use its influence to start taking serious steps to implement the U.N. Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, which call for “immediate complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces” of all Armenian military forces from Azerbaijan’s territories.

I implore you to do whatever is necessary to enforce the U.N. resolutions, to stop the illegal Armenian military occupation, remove all Armenian military forces illegally stationed in Azerbaijan, allow the return of Azerbaijani displaced persons back to their homes, cease the Armenian blockade of Nakhichevan, the Azerbaijani exclave region, and return all POWs and MIA.

Justice and fairness should be restored.

Meltem Deniz

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