As a continuation of the telephone conversation between President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, on February 15 and March 16, 2021 meetings through video conferencing were held between Assistant to the President, Head of the Department for Foreign Policy Affairs of Azerbaijan’s Presidential Administration Hikmat Hajiyev and Chief of Staff of the Office of the Director-General of UNESCO Nicolas Kassianides.
The meetings focused on the UNESCO mission invited by Azerbaijan to the liberated from the occupation territories in accordance with the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.
Noting that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to cooperation with UNESCO and is always open to any constructive dialogue, Hikmat Hajiyev, during the last videoconference, reiterated Azerbaijan’s readiness to accept a UNESCO mission to assess the damage caused to cultural and religious monuments in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan.
He highlighted the vast scale of vandalism committed by Armenia against the cultural and religious heritage of the Azerbaijani people in the territories during almost 30 years of occupation.
The Presidential Administration official pointed to Azerbaijan’s exemplary experience in the protection of cultural and religious monuments, saying that the country has contributed to the restoration of cultural and religious monuments at the global level. Hajiyev also mentioned that on the initiative of Azerbaijan’s First Vice President, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva, the Foundation’s delegation and representatives of the country’s religious communities have recently visited the Vatican, and as part of the visit, a new cooperation agreement on the restoration of the Catacombs of Commodilla was signed between the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology.
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