Destruction of Azerbaijani monuments in occupied territories by Armenia debated at UNESCO
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 1 / Trend S.Agayeva /
Azerbaijan's Permanent Representative to UNESCO Eleonora Huseynova drew attention to the ongoing Armenian occupation of the originally Azerbaijani lands at the 36th session of UNESCO General Conference held on Oct. 29 in Paris.
She stressed that this occupation led to the destruction of historical and cultural monuments of Azerbaijan, transformation of the occupied lands in the uncontrolled territory to engage in the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and human organs, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Elman Abdullayev told Trend.
In response to the speech of Armenia Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, who accused the neighboring countries in the destruction of Armenian heritage, Huseynova recalled the Armenian leader's racist statements on the ethnic incompatibility of the two peoples and stressed that Armenia pursues hostile and aggressive policy towards Azerbaijan.
Nine centralized library systems, 927 libraries and 4.6 million books stored in them have been plundered and destroyed in Armenian-occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas. Some 22 museums, which contained over 100,000 exhibits, 808 clubs, four theaters and two concert halls, eight amusement parks, four art galleries and 85 music schools have left in the occupied territories.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.