The member of the Azerbaijan delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), MP Rafail Huseynov, informed Trend that Armenia prevents the visit of PACE rapporteur, Edward Ohara, to the region to study the situation of the cultural heritage in the South Caucasus.
He said that the issue of the visit was widely discussed in December at the meeting of the PACE ad hoc Committee for Culture, Education and Science and meeting of the ad hoc Committee for Cultural Heritage.
During the discussions, it was said that the visit of the mission, created by the initiative of Ohara and Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Tarry Davis, will absolutely take place, he said.
According to Huseynov, the visit had to take place till autumn of 2006, but due to various reasons, it was annulled. Despite this an agreement has been reached on this issue, Huseynov said, adding that within the PACE winter session due on January 22-26, wide discussions are expected to be held on this issue in PACE ad hoc Committee for Culture, Education and Science and meeting of the ad hoc Committee for Cultural Heritage. I think that in January we will achieve concrete results in this question. We presented necessary documents to the rapporteur regarding the cultural heritage located in occupied Azerbaijani lands and destroyed by the Armenians, he said.
According to the Deputy, the visit will take place no later than spring of 2007, saying that the Azerbaijani side is interested in the visit.
Azerbaijan has sustained occupation. In the occupied Azerbaijani lands, Armenians have destroyed more than 100,000 examples of the cultural heritage вЂ" archeological and historical monuments, museums, art galleries, etc. Hundreds of monuments, which are located in the territory of Armenia and belong to Azerbaijan, have been destroyed or captured by the Armenians. As a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, significant damages have been inflicted to the cultural heritage of Azerbaijan. The statement of the Armenians that official Baku is not interested on Ohara's visit to the region does not correspond to the reality. We are not afraid of anything and our activity is open, he said.
Huseynov said that there are no Armenian monuments in Nakchivan, and the Azerbaijan side is interested in Ohara's visit to this region. According to him, Armenia prevents his visit to the region because the cultural monuments presented by the Azerbaijani side to Ohara have been destroyed by the Armenians. Huseynov said that the rapporteur will not find these monuments. Armenia understands that the person who will visit to the region will see that they have been destroyed. In addition, not only Armenia, but also other country of South Caucasus is not interested in realization of the visit, Huseynov said.