YEREVAN. – The Armenian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly stated that the protection of cultural heritage is part of a peaceful settlement. Acting Foreign Minister Ara Aivazian stated this at Thursday’s joint press conference in Yerevan with visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Aivazian recalled that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs also touched upon this issue in their April 13 statement. "We work closely with UNESCO, look forward to the assessment mission's regional visit, and hope that UNESCO will make an effort to do so. The protection of cultural heritage is directly related to human rights," Aivazian said.
He added that in early February, the UN special rapporteurs called on Azerbaijan to investigate the shelling of the Holy Savior Ghazanchetsots Armenian Cathedral in Shushi, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), on October 8, 2020, and to ensure the participation of representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church in the repair of this church. "We see that Azerbaijan did heed the UN calls and, moreover, shows contempt, with unilateral blunt intervention. The Ghazanchetsots Cathedral of Shushi is one of the largest Armenian churches, and it should remain a place of religious worship, "Ara Aivazian stressed.