European Parliament adopts resolution condemning cultural heritage destruction in Nagorno-Karabakh

European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning the destruction of cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The vote was attended by 679 MPs, of whom 635 were in favor of the resolution, 2 were against and 42 abstained.

The draft resolution expresses deep concern over the narrative disseminated by Azerbaijan, which portrays Armenian cultural heritage sites as having Albanian origins and renames Armenian monuments as “Caucasian-Albanian”.

The creation of a new working group in Azerbaijan, which is tasked with erasing inscriptions from religious or historical monuments in the part of Nagorno-Karabakh under its control, is condemned as unlawful plunder of the cultural heritage of neighboring peoples in order to deprive them of their historical memory.

This decision violates the spirit of the judgments of the International Court of Justice of December 7, 2021, the document says.

Furthermore, the resolution requires Azerbaijan to grant relevant bodies, such as UNESCO, Aliph or Iconem, access to heritage sites in territories under its control in order to be able to proceed with their inventory and ensure their protection. It also urges not to interfere with Armenian heritage sites prior to a UNESCO assessment mission, and to consult with Armenian and international cultural heritage experts before and during the intervention on Armenian cultural heritage sites.

The document also expresses concern over the renewed clashes on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, which resulted in human casualties, and calls on the parties to refrain from the use of force and continue the recently launched political dialogue.