No:614/23, Response by Aykhan Hajizada, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to the question of the local media regarding the views expressed by the French Minister of Culture Rima Abdul Malak in Armenia

Question: Minister of Culture of the Republic of France, Rima Abdul Malak, during her visit to Armenia, raised claims about endangerment of historical and cultural monuments in the Garabagh region and called for different mechanisms to protect them. How would you comment these remarks?


Answer: The mentioned visit and claims about cultural heritage in the Garabagh region of Azerbaijan is another predisposition and a biased approach by the French side.


Azerbaijan is very well aware of its obligations and importance of protection of all the cultural and historical monuments in its territories, and France, as a country who had confiscated the historical and cultural assets belonging to other nations, has no moral ground to raise such claims.


Claims about endangerment of cultural and historical monuments following the anti-terror measures of Azerbaijan has no ground, which was confirmed recently by two UN missions to the region.


Unfortunately, neither within its engagement as a mediator in the former Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, nor as an influential country within the UNESCO, France has never raised concerns about almost complete destruction of historical, cultural and religious monuments by Armenia both in Azerbaijan’s territories and in Armenia.


Moreover, it was Azerbaijan who for almost 30 years has persistently appealed to the international organizations with calls to carry out assessment missions to the formerly occupied territories of Azerbaijan and Armenia about deliberate destruction, misappropriation, alteration of our cultural heritage, as well as illicit removal of cultural properties. Unfortunately, it was not possible due to Armenia’s obstructions. UNESCO itself has also confirmed this fact in its 2005 report.


The cultural heritage situated in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, regardless of its origin, whether secular or religious, reflects the cultural diversity of the people of Azerbaijan, which Azerbaijan values and protects.


Once again, we call on the French side to put an end to interference into Azerbaijan’s internal affairs and from such provocative statements.

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