Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 13 / Trend U.Sadikhova /
Azerbaijan stands for the preservation of cultural values around the world and is open to discuss further horizons of development of the Islamic culture, said Abulfaz Garayev Azerbaijani Culture and Tourism Minister, participating in the sixth conference of the Islamic countries' culture ministers in Baku.
Announcement of Baku as the capital of Islamic culture has deepened our cultural cooperation. Azerbaijan pays special attention to preserving the Islamic material heritage, Garayev added.
Armenia destroys mosques, museums, architectural and cultural monuments located on the occupied 20 percent of the Azerbaijani territories. These are a legacy of not only Azerbaijan but also of the entire Muslim world and human civilization, Garayev said.
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.
"The Islamic culture is our history and our future. Therefore, we must unite in the name of cultural development and establish the basis for our cooperation in the preservation of material and cultural values, the minister said.
About 200 representatives from 45 countries, including 25 countries represented at the ministerial level, are attending the conference which is to end on Oct.15.
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