Official Baku Insists on PACE Mission’s  Visiting Occupied Lands Through Azerbaijan

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 6 October 2008 11:56 (UTC +04:00)
Official Baku Insists on PACE Mission’s  Visiting Occupied Lands Through Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, 6 October/ Trend , corr J. Babayeva/ Official Baku insists on PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe) mission's visiting Azerbaijani lands occupied by Armenia through Azerbaijan's territory.

"Azerbaijan insists on PACE cultural heritage mission's visiting occupied lands through Azerbaijan's territory as this territory is a constituent part of Azerbaijan," Abulfaz Garayev, minister of culture and tourism of Azerbaijan said to journalists.

Official Baku insists on simultaneous arrival of a mission in an equal composition. This is indispensable condition of Azerbaijan, minister said.

Azerbaijan has proposed PACE to send its cultural heritage mission to the occupied lands to study the conditions of historical and cultural monuments.

The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of Azerbaijan's lands including Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding seven regions. The occupation began in 1988.Azerbaijan lost the Nagorno-Karabakh, except of Shusha and Khojali, in December 1991. In 1992-93, Armenian Armed Forces occupied Shusha, Khojali and Nagorno-Karabakh's seven surrounding regions. 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, but fruitless negotiations.

Visiting region at different times can lead to distortion of facts, he said.

Azerbaijan has already submitted the mission a list of monuments that were subject to destruction. "Armenia offers a different list. There are no facts of destruction of Armenian monuments in Azerbaijani territory. We offer to study both lists," minister said.

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