ArmInfo.On the official website of the United Nations (UN), a memorandum on the state of historical and cultural monuments in Artsakh and Azerbaijan was published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic). Earlier, the memorandum of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Artsakh was circulated as an official document to the UN, as well as to the OSCE and the Council of Europe.
The document emphasizes that all architectural monuments in the territory of the Republic of Artsakh are the property and heritage of Artsakh, are included in the State Register of Immovable Historical and Cultural Monuments of the Republic of Artsakh and are protected by the state.
Being a responsible member of the international community and attaching great importance to the preservation of historical and cultural monuments, the Republic of Artsakh, on a voluntary basis, assumed the obligations arising from the European Cultural Convention, the European Convention for the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage and the European Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe. The relevant instruments of ratification were sent to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on 22 December 2014 and 30 June 2015. In accordance with the undertaken obligations, the Government of the Republic of Artsakh annually allocates funds for the preservation of historical monuments, regardless of their origin.
The document contains facts that refute false accusations of Azerbaijan on the destruction of Muslim monuments on the territory of Artsakh. The memorandum notes that, in addition to false accusations, Azerbaijan does not present any evidence and tries to ascribe its approaches and actions to the Armenian side. In this context, it is stressed that during the Soviet period and during the war, Azerbaijan destroyed 167 Armenian churches, 8 monastic complexes and 123 cemeteries located in the territory of Artsakh.
Today, Azerbaijan continues its purposeful policy of destroying Armenian monuments on the territories under their control. Moreover, in peacetime, Azerbaijani authorities completely or partially destroyed all Armenian historical and cultural monuments in Nakhchivan, where in the late 20th century there were 218 Armenian Christian monasteries, churches, chapels, more than 4,500 khachkars ("crosses and stones") and only 6 mosques.
The document expresses disappointment with the attempts of the Azerbaijani authorities to regard the construction of churches in Artsakh as a violation of international humanitarian law, as well as the desire to use it to impart a religious character to the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict.
In this context, it is stressed that in international humanitarian law there is not one provision that would limit the exercise of the right to freedom of religion, including the construction of churches. Armenians began to build churches more than 1700 years ago, long before the appearance of Azerbaijan. According to the position of Artsakh, the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict is not religious, but it is a clash of two value systems that Artsakh expresses in the pursuit of freedom and democracy, and on the part of Azerbaijan - in an attempt to deprive the people of Arts of their own inalienable right to determine their own destiny.
The memorandum also contains numerous visual materials testifying to the purposeful destruction and desecration of Armenian monuments by Azerbaijan.
The memorandum of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh is available on the UN website at the following link: http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A%2F72%2F876&referer=%2Fen