Baku. 3 September. REPORT.AZ/ The Guardian published a letter of Azerbaijani Ambassador to the UK Tahir Tagizade and Azerbaijan's permanent representative to UNESCO Anar Karimov.
Report informs citing the website, in their letters diplomats responded to the Simon Maghakyan's article, which had been previously published in this paper and criticized by UNESCO for its approach to the Palmyra monuments destroyed by ISIS and the alleged destruction of khachkars in Azerbaijan.
In his letter, Mr. Tagizade said: "It is ironic that Simon Maghakyan writes in defence of the importance of the preservation of cultural heritage and condemns my country. Over the course of the armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, it is not Azerbaijan but Armenia that has now turned into a monoethnic country – a rare example in this part of the world – and has pursued a policy of transforming into a monoculture society by wiping out the centuries-old cultural and historical heritage of its ethnic Azerbaijani population. In Azerbaijan we take pride in our respect for the history and culture of all ethnic and religious minorities. The best example is the Armenian church that stands in the central square of Baku."
He also noted that the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe fact-finding missions in 2005 and 2010 have reported on the destruction of cultural heritage in occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
In turn, Mr. Karimov said that the accusation concerning the destruction of the Julfa cemetery is another attempt to mislead the international community from the aggravated facts of “cultural cleansing” carried out in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
According to him, s ince the beginning of the 1990s, cultural and religious heritage representing the very richness of Azerbaijani culture have been savagely damaged and ruined by Armenia not only within the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the seven surrounding districts but also within the territory of Armenia itself. The destruction of the ancient Aga-Dede mosque and cemetery in the Masis region of Armenia is one of the many examples of cultural terrorism against the Azerbaijani population.
The diplomat stressed that Azerbaijan strongly supports Unesco’s global mission and activities for promotion of dialogue and rapprochement of cultures.