By Laman Ismayilova
The Azerbaijan Culture Ministry has appealed to UNESCO and ISESCO amid Armenian vandalism on liberated territories.
The preliminary monitoring has been carried out on Azerbaijan's territories, recently liberated from Armenian occupation.
The appeal reflects the results of the monitoring of the damage caused to the country`s historical, cultural, and religious monuments in the liberated territories.
The Ministry emphasized that the destruction of historical and cultural heritage is a gross violation of the requirements of relevant international conventions and a crime against humanity.
The appeal noted that the development of a historically multicultural and tolerant society in Azerbaijan is one of the key priorities of the state policy.
Nowadays representatives of different nations and religions enjoy peaceful coexistence and contribute to the country's overall progress.
Along with the Muslim community, Christian and Jewish religious communities are also regarded as an integral part of society. Monuments and places of worship belonging to all these religions are protected and restored by the Azerbaijani state, regardless of their origin.
The Culture Ministry informed that results of the ongoing monitoring on the liberated territories will be regularly presented to the leaders of both organizations.
On 18 November, the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, received the representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan to the Organization.
Audrey Azoulay recalled the statements made by the United Nations Secretary-General, who had expressed his relief and welcomed the agreement on a total ceasefire and cessation of hostilities in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.
As a result, UNESCO, expressed its readiness to take part in the protection of cultural and religious heritage in Karabakh. So, UNESCO experts are currently carrying out an assessment mission.
Notably, Azerbaijan and UNESCO have been enjoying successful cooperation since 1992. In 2003, the parties signed the framework agreement on cooperation in the areas of culture, science, education and communication, which allowed Azerbaijan to become one of the donors of UNESCO.
Many Azerbaijan's cultural sites have been included into UNESCO's World Heritage List: Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and the Maiden Tower, the Historic Centre of Sheki with the Khan’s Palace and Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape.
Azerbaijan has been a member of ISESCO since 1991. Established in 1991, these relations have entered into a stage of successful development after the awarding of Azerbaijan's First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva as Goodwill Ambassador of ISESCO on November 24, 2006. Aliyeva was honored for her services in the development of education and dialogue between civilizations.
The country is closely cooperating with various organizations of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation - ISESCO, the Islamic Development Bank, the Islamic Conference of Parliamentary Union, the Islamic Conference of Youth Forum.
The Islamic World Heritage Committee, at its extraordinary meeting held at the ISESCO headquarters last year, approved the inscription the following heritage sites of Azerbaijan on the list of the Islamic World Heritage: Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah’s Palace and the Maiden Tower, the Historic Centre of Sheki with the Khan’s Palace and the Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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