Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend corr. K. Ramazanova / Azerbaijan is urging UNESCO to follow the situation closely on the ground regarding the protection of the Azerbaijani people's ancient cultural heritage manifested by monuments in the occupied territories. Monuments and other objects of cultural significance have already suffered ongoing destruction, as well as those objects in Armenia where Azerbaijani people had previously settled but are now gone due to ethnic cleansed during the conflict, Elmar Mammadyarov, the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, said during UNESCO's general conference on 18 October.
" Azerbaijan hopes that UNESCO will interfere in the conflict," Mammadyarov said.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.
Armenian Armed Forces destroyed 1,421 cultural homes, fifteen cities, 503 village cultural homes and clubs, eight regional libraries, as well as thirty-two city, ten children and 683 village libraries, six cultural parks, forty-seven children music colleges, three theatres, three galleries, 464 historical monuments, about 40,000 historical goods and 4.6mln books.