2019-10-18

No:311/19, Azerbaijani MFA Spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva answers the question of media

Question: Armenian media have reported on the completion of repair work at the Upper Govharagha Mosque in Shusha. We would like to know your attitude towards this activity of the Armenian side in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

Answer:  It has been mentioned many times, that as a result of Armenia's occupation of Azerbaijani territories, the historical, material and cultural heritage and religious sites of Azerbaijan have been damaged, many of our monuments have been destroyed and plundered, and Armenia is currently pursuing a policy of changing the origin and purpose of our monuments.

In this regard, I would like to emphasize that reports based on specific facts about the destruction of Azerbaijan's historical and cultural heritage in the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas of our country occupied by Armenia as the aggressor state, have been submitted to main international organizations, to UNESCO in particular, as well as to UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and ISESCO. As it is known, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation regularly adopts resolutions on the destruction and desecration of historical heritage and temples related to Islam in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan as a result of Armenian aggression. The last resolution was adopted in 2019 at the 46th meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers in Abu Dhabi.

The “restoration” of the Upper Govkharagha (Juma) Mosque built in Shusha in the 19th century by the order of Govharagha, the daughter of Ibrahim khan, the ruler of Karabakh, is part of the policy of the country-occupier to appropriate material, cultural and religious monuments in Azerbaijan and change their origin. Thus, by “rebuilding” the Govkharagha Mosque, the aggressor country, trying to present this mosque as a Persian one, seeks to cast a shadow over the fact that Shusha is an ancient Azerbaijani city.

By "restoring" the mosque in Shusha today, aggressor Armenia, which has carried out a complete ethnic cleansing in the occupied Azerbaijani lands by expelling local Azerbaijani Muslims from their homes and lands, is trying to demonstrate its alleged respect for religious values, which is nothing but hypocrisy. A country that respects religious and secular values does not falsify history by restoring religious objects that it has destroyed itself.

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