February 29
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Azerbaijan continues to block the initiative to send a UNESCO mission to Nagorno-Karabakh. This information was reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Armenian in response to Sputnik Armenia's inquiry.

The Armenian MFA noted that ever since Azerbaijan's large-scale military attack against Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020, Yerevan has been constantly raising at specialized international organizations, including UNESCO, the issue of the protection of Armenian cultural and religious heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Back in November 2020, Armenia supported the initiative of the Director General of UNESCO to send an expert group to Nagorno-Karabakh and was engaged in the process of organizing this mission as soon as possible.

"However, Azerbaijan continuously blocks the initiative to send a UNESCO mission to the Nagorno-Karabakh region," added the Armenian MFA.

"Azerbaijan's destructive attitude regarding the matter of the UNESCO expert mission contradicts the provisions of all international conventions working in the domain of cultural heritage protection, including the provisions of the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict," the Armenian MFA emphasized.

In addition, the Armenian MFA notes that Baku's position violates the decision of the UN International Court of Justice of December 7, 2021, which obliges Azerbaijan to "take all necessary measures to prevent and punish acts of vandalism and desecration affecting Armenian cultural heritage, including but not limited to churches and other places of worship, monuments, landmarks, cemeteries and artefacts."

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