BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan.8
By Ilhama Isabalayeva - Trend:
Azerbaijan has many times appealed to UNESCO in connection with a mission to monitor the state of cultural heritage sites in the territories of the country that had been under Armenian occupation for the past 30 years, Azerbaijani Minister of Culture Anar Karimov said.
Karimov made the remark at a meeting with UN Resident Coordinator in the country, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Gulam Isagzai, Trend reports on Jan.8.
According to the minister, unfortunately, the appeals remained non-responded, and UNESCO never addressed Armenia to provide an opportunity to carry out the mission.
He noted that UNESCO's statements about sending its mission to the territories liberated from the Armenian occupation caused bewilderment of the Azerbaijani side.
"We brought to the organization's attention that in order to carry out the mission in the liberated territories, it’s first important to resolve security issues, especially, to de-mine the territories, and also take into account the unfavorable weather conditions,” added Karimov.
“It should be noted with regret that amid the current discussions, the unreasonable statements of UNESCO about Azerbaijan cast a shadow on the impartiality and neutral approach of this organization," said the minister.
The minister also noted that the Azerbaijani side is more interested in sending a monitoring mission to these territories, and supports arranging of such a mission to all monuments and cultural sites within the framework of territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of the borders of Azerbaijan, respect for the principles of international law, without making a difference between their origin and religious nature.
"The abovementioned statements by UNESCO cause serious discontent in the Azerbaijani society, which, unfortunately, undermines the organization's image. Nevertheless, the Azerbaijani side has prepared a draft document covering the mission parameters, which will soon be submitted to the UNESCO Secretariat,"
In turn, Isagzai said that he understands the position of Azerbaijan and will continue to provide the UN structures with objective information about the events that took place during the 44-day war and the real situation in the liberated territories.
“It should be emphasized with regret that amid the ongoing discussions the statements, in which UNESCO unreasonably accuses Azerbaijan, cast a doubt on the impartiality of the organization and its neutral approach in accordance with the charter," he added.
The territories had been liberated during the 44-day war (from late Sept. through early Nov. 2020).