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January 25
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We welcome the joint statement of the International Council on Monuments and Sites, the International Council on Archives, the International Council of Museums, and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh [(Artsakh)]. This was stated at a briefing Friday by Maria Zakharova, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

According to her, these authoritative NGOs—which are UNESCO partners—have called on all parties involved in the implementation of the ceasefire agreement to ensure active respect and protection of all cultural, historical, architectural, and religious heritage facilities, including in accordance with the provisions of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict

"We expect that the expert potential of these organizations—and they are recognized all over the world—will be fully tapped in the process of preparation for the UNESCO mission and visit to the region—in cooperation with the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides," Zakharova added.

On November 9, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a joint statement on a complete cessation of hostilities— which Azerbaijan had launched on September 27—in and around Artsakh. Accordingly, Russian peacekeepers are deployed in the region to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire and the cessation of hostilities. But this statement also stipulates the handover of part of Artsakh lands to Azerbaijan. 

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