Details added: first version posted on 23:12 (Jan.15)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 15
Armenia must answer in international courts, the head of the press service of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Leyla Abdullayeva said, Trend reports.
Abdullayeva made the remark commenting the statement of the Armenian Foreign Ministry on the speech of the President of Azerbaijan during the meeting with the Director General of ISESCO.
"In his speech at the meeting with the ISESCO's Director General on January 13, president of the Republic of Azerbaijan once again exposed the purposeful policy of Armenia aimed at destroying the historical, material and cultural heritage of Azerbaijan, the policy which had been carried out for decades in the recently liberated territories of our country," she said.
"Activities to destroy, loot and change the origin of historical, cultural and religious monuments in the territories that have been under Armenian occupation for almost 30 years, with the aim of preventing the return of Azerbaijanis to their homes by destroying everything that belongs to the Azerbaijani people in these territories, is equated to military crimes. Of course, Armenia is responsible for these crimes and must answer for it," she said.
“Regarding the ancient Armenian religious and secular monuments, I want to say that such monuments of Armenians who do not belong to the Caucasian ethnos and who massively migrated to the Caucasus in the 19th century may exist somewhere else. I would not comment on this issue, because it does not apply to our region,” said Abdullayeva.
“As for the unfounded accusations by the Armenian Foreign Ministry that Azerbaijan allegedly does not allow international organizations, in particular UNESCO, to visit the territory, we remind the Armenian Foreign Ministry that it was Armenia that prevented the visit of international missions to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan in recent decades. This fact is clearly reflected in the 2005 UNESCO Action Report. Thus, according to the report, the Azerbaijani government, expressing concern over the protection of cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied territories, requested a fact-finding mission to these territories, but due to the military occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia, this mission was impossible,” the spokesperson noted.
“The Azerbaijani side brought to the attention of the opposite side its answer in connection with the organization of the UNESCO mission. In general, no third party can interfere in the process of dialogue between Azerbaijan and UNESCO,” she noted.
“I am sure that the UNESCO / ISESCO mission will be a good opportunity, on objective grounds and taking into account real facts, to bring to the attention of the international community the acts of vandalism committed by Armenia during 30 years of occupation,” Abdullayeva added.
“Azerbaijan is a multicultural country, and all Muslim and Christian-Albanian monuments in Karabakh belong to the historical, cultural and religious heritage of the Azerbaijani people. All monuments on the territory of Azerbaijan are protected at the state level. Protection of the rich heritage of our country will continue to be ensured at a high level, and work will also be carried out to restore, repair and reconstruct monuments in the liberated territories," Abdullayeva said.