Azerbaijan resolutely rejects the statements of the Armenian side about any "cultural crime" in the territories liberated from the occupation. This is stated in the commentary of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry on March 26 in connection with the BBC radio report from the Jabrayil region of Azerbaijan, which refers to the disappearance of an Armenian church from there.
"This chapel was illegally built during the almost 30-year occupation by Armenia of the lands, which are internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan, which before the occupation in 1993 were inhabited exclusively by ethnic Azerbaijanis," the commentary noted.
In 2017, Azerbaijan appealed to the OSCE and expressed serious concern about the change by Armenia of the demographic and cultural characteristics in the occupied territories. After that, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs visited the region and came to the conclusion that the chapel was built for Armenian soldiers. Thus, this facility, erected only five years ago for the occupying Armenian forces, cannot be considered part of the cultural history of Jabrayil.
International media broadly covered the destruction in the previously occupied Azerbaijani territories, which clearly demonstrated the vandalism of Armenia and the deliberate destruction of the historical, cultural and religious heritage of Azerbaijan. Thus, in the occupied territories, 927 libraries, over 60 mosques, 44 sanctuaries, and 473 historical sights were destroyed.
"The country that has committed such a thing has no moral or legal right to accuse Azerbaijan," the commentary noted.
Azerbaijan is the most interested country in sending an independent international mission to the liberated territories in order to document the destruction committed there. In this context, there is a constructive dialogue with UNESCO, the commentary notes.