Details added (first version posted at 18:32)
Baku, Azerbaijan, July 24
By Seba Aghayeva – Trend:
Armenian foreign minister’s visit to the occupied Azerbaijani Kalbajar District under the pretext of participating at a religious ceremony Gandzasar 777 is another example of how Armenia politicizes the falsification of history and religion at the state level, Spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend.
Hajiyev reminded Armenia’s FM that the Albanian-Christian temple, located in the Kalbajar District occupied by Armenian armed forces, is called Ganjasar, but not Gandzasar, and it has nothing to do with the Armenian Orthodox Church.
“This has been proved by Azerbaijan and foreign historians,” he noted.
The architecture and composition of the temple complex and sculpture elements confirm the temple’s belonging to the architecture of Caucasian Albania, said Hajiyev. The pseudo-Armenian historiography is unable to explain the difference between the Ganjasar temple and an Armenian church, he added.
Hajiyev noted that in general, Armenia’s appropriation of Islamic and Christian temples belonging to the Azerbaijani people is a grave violation of international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Conventions.
“Participation of the Armenian FM at the event once again demonstrates that Armenia is not interested in a peaceful settlement of the [Nagorno-Karabakh] conflict and tries to strengthen the status quo, continuing the occupation of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region and adjacent districts,” Hajiyev said.
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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.