Armenian cultural heritage in areas controlled by Azerbaijan needs protection, Foreign Minister tells UNESCO chief

Preventive measured on the part of the international community are needed protects the Armenian cultural heritage in Artsakh territories currently under Azerbaijani control, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat said at a meeting with UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay in Paris.

Ararat Mirzoyan congratulated Audrey Azoulayon her re-election. The interlocutors commended the effective cooperation between Armenia and UNESCO over the years.

Minister Mirzoyan noted that Armenia has always made every effort to assist UNESCO in carrying out its strong mission based on common values ​​in the fields of education, science and culture. In this context, he stressed that Armenia’s candidacy for membership in the UNESCO Executive Council for 2021-2025 stems from the consideration of increasing the effectiveness of those efforts.

Reference was made to the issue of protection of the Armenian historical, cultural and religious heritage in the territories that went under Azerbaijani control due to the aggression against Artsakh last fall.

Ararat Mirzoyan stressed that in the conditions of deliberate destruction or distortion of the identity of the Armenian historical and cultural monuments of Artsakh, which are part of the universal cultural heritage, preventive measures by on the part of the international community, are simply imperative. In this context, the Armenian Foreign Minister stressed the need to implement the proposal of the Director General to send an independent assessment mission to the region, in particular, under the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.

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