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27 February 2018

An event has been held at the University of Houston in Texas to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide.

The event was held within the framework of the ‘Justice for Khojaly’ international awareness campaign, Azerbaijan’s Embassy in the U.S.

The event was co-organized by the Houston-Baku Sister City Association, the Azerbaijan Center and the Israel-Azerbaijan International Association, with the support of the Azerbaijani Embassy in the US.

Teachers and students of the university, representatives of the Azerbaijani community in Houston as well as representatives of the local community attended the event. The authors of the "Black Snowdrops" book Efim Abramov (Israel) and Leila Begim (Czech Republic) also participated in the event.

The event's opening speech was made by James Ortiz, deputy rector for global strategy and research at the University of Houston. He underlined the importance of the Azerbaijan-US and Houston-Baku cooperation, stressing the university’s attention to this issue by hosting this event.

Director of the Azerbaijan Center and President of the Houston-Baku Sister City Association (HBSCA) Irada Akhundova noted that the Khojaly genocide is an unforgettable event for every Azerbaijani and that the world community should constantly be informed about this tragedy.

Vugar Gurbanov, an advisor at Azerbaijan’s Embassy in the U.S., said in his speech that the Khojaly massacre was aimed at breaking the will of the Azerbaijani people and state, and Azerbaijan’s other territories were occupied under the same scenario.

“However, the aggressors failed to break the will of the Azerbaijani people and state,” Gurbanov said, stressing that Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity will be restored with the people’s support and those who are responsible for the Khojaly massacre will be brought to justice.

L. Begim, co-author of the book, said that this work was devoted to the victims of the ethnic cleansing campaign against Azerbaijanis. Then she recited a poem dedicated to the massacre victims.

Lev Spivak, director general of the Israel-Azerbaijan International Association, spoke about the Azerbaijani-Israeli relations and gave detailed information about their activities regarding the Khojaly tragedy.

At the end of the event, discussions were held on further activities to inform the public about the realities of the Khojaly genocide.