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 Thursday, February 25 2021 11:54
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Artsakh Foreign Minister called on the UN Secretary General to take  effective steps to protect the Armenian historical and cultural  monuments that came under the control of Azerbaijan

Artsakh Foreign Minister called on the UN Secretary General to take  effective steps to protect the Armenian historical and cultural  monuments that came under the control of Azerbaijan

ArmInfo. On February 19, the UN issued a letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh David Babayan to the Secretary General of the  Organization Antonio Guterres in connection with the systematic and  deliberate destruction by the Azerbaijani authorities of the Armenian  cultural heritage in the territories of Artsakh under Azerbaijani  occupation, which is a flagrant violation of international law.

Thus, in his letter, Babayan draws the attention of the UN Secretary  General to the fact that there are serious grounds to believe that  the Azerbaijani authorities are preparing the ground for the complete  mass destruction and elimination of artifacts of the Armenian  cultural heritage in these territories.  They noted that in a letter  from the Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the United Nations  dated December 18, 2020 to the Secretary-General (A / 75/660-S /  2020/1267), the Azerbaijani authorities made absolutely absurd and  incredible accusations, claiming that the authorities of the Republic  Artsakh <were oxidized and smeared with vinegar> Armenian khachkars  (stone steles with a carved image of a cross) <to give them the  appearance of monuments of antiquity, and then [they] were buried as  <indisputable> proof of centuries-old Armenian roots in the area>.

“These accusations are categorically false, if not ridiculous.   However, Azerbaijan’s self-serving and fabricated accusations should  be taken seriously as it is an ominous harbinger of Azerbaijan’s  systematic denial and destruction of the Armenian historical and  cultural heritage in the region. We have already drawn your attention  to the ongoing state Azerbaijan's campaign aimed at the complete or  partial destruction of all Armenian cultural and historical monuments  under the control of Azerbaijan, "Babayan emphasized.

At the same time, the minister cited the deliberate destruction of  several thousand medieval khachkars of the Armenian cemetery of Old  Julfa in Nakhichevan in 1997-2006 as the most tragic fact of the  practice of destroying the Armenian cultural heritage.

“After the recent aggression of Azerbaijan against the Republic of  Artsakh and its people, our concerns are growing. Azerbaijan is  creating artificial obstacles in the way of the decision of the  United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization  (UNESCO) to send a technical assistance mission to Artsakh and  adjacent regions in order to compile a preliminary list of the most  In a recent press statement, the UNESCO representative emphasized  Azerbaijan's intransigence in this matter: “At this stage, this  UNESCO proposal received the full support of the Minsk Group  co-chairs. It received the full support of the Republic of Armenia,  as well as the Republic of Artsakh. Azerbaijan opposes it in an  attempt to politicize this issue.Azerbaijan's hostility to the UNESCO  proposal and its unwillingness to agree with it in a timely manner  violates even its obligations under Article 5 of the Second Protocol  to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cult urn values ??in  the event of an armed conflict in 1954, which provides for a specific  requirement: "measures taken in peacetime to protect cultural  property from the foreseeable consequences of an armed conflict ...   include, if necessary, drawing up lists," the Artsakh Foreign  Minister added.

The letter also says that in Soviet times and in 1992-1994. During  the military aggression against the Republic of Artsakh, the  Azerbaijani authorities destroyed and completely destroyed 167  Armenian churches, 8 monastic complexes and 123 cemeteries. During  the same period, about 2,500 Armenian khachkars and over 10,000  Armenian tombstones were destroyed and used as building materials.   "The danger of destruction of all cultural monuments of the Armenian  heritage located in the territories of the Republic of Artsakh  currently occupied by Azerbaijan is obvious and inevitable. I hereby  propose to the Secretary General to take effective steps to ensure  the protection of Armenian historical, cultural and religious  monuments; to promote the fulfillment of the role of UNESCO and  expand its capabilities in this regard; and demand from the  Azerbaijani authorities to respect and fulfill their obligations to  preserve the Armenian cultural heritage, which is currently under the  effective control of Azerbaijan, and to abandon their vicious policy  of its elimination and destruction, "Babayan summed up.

The full text of Babayan's letter can be found at the following link:   https://www.undocs.org/ru/A/75/739.


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