Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 2
By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:
None of the international organizations to which Azerbaijan appealed in connection with the historical and cultural monuments destructed as a result of the Armenian occupation established a fact finding commission. Sending of the fact-finding mission to the occupied territories is artificially delayed, Azerbaijani Culture and Tourism Minister Abulfaz Garayev told Trend Sept. 2.
"The issue of destruction of the cultural and religious monuments in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, acts of vandalism against them, was repeatedly raised to the international organizations," he added. "Each time, the international organizations consider this issue very carefully, showing respect for the Azerbaijani position. However, today these organizations use a "balanced" approach."
"The proposals voiced by Azerbaijan and Armenia differ," he added. "That is why, sending a fact finding missions to the region on the part of UNESCO, the Council of Europe and other organizations, determining facts about destruction of historical and cultural monuments in the occupied territories and other similar initiatives have always encountered resistance from the opposite side."
"Azerbaijan stressed its openness to such investigations," he added. "All historical and cultural monuments in the country are under its protection. Destructing any of them, regardless of the religion, history, culture is unacceptable."
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.