Aliyev threatens UNESCO 'with revision of relations', claims org works for 'Armenian lobby'
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has threatened UNESCO with a ‘revision of relations’ if the organization does not ‘maintain its international status’ and does not cease ‘being a branch of any country’, claiming UNESCO works for the ‘Armenian lobby.’
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Aliyev said this during a reception in video format of the new Minister of Culture Anar Kerimov.
Kerimov had been the first deputy head of the Ministry of Culture for several months and acted as minister after the dismissal of the former head of the department, Abulfas Qarayev. Prior to his appointment, Deputy Minister Anar Kerimov represented Azerbaijan in UNESCO.
“Who can accuse us that the monuments of other religions in Azerbaijan are under threat? Inexperienced politicians, populists, some so-called ‘politicians’ who are not aware of our region, but fulfill the order of the Armenian lobby or work for it, may have some claims against us.
Are these claims substantiated? No. These words of mine prove our deeds, which will last for several volumes. Let them go and see what the Armenians have turned our monuments into?!” said Aliyev.
“Why hasn’t UNESCO raised this issue for 30 years? We have applied many times, more than once. These appeals are documented in the form of letters. Two years ago, the new leadership of UNESCO was also invited to send a mission. Let a mission come to the occupied lands, see what they have turned our historical monuments into?
And what was the response of the UNESCO leadership? They said we don’t want to politicize the issue. Okay, two years ago you didn’t want to politicize the question, why do you want it now? Let them give an answer, a very simple, logical answer. There is no answer, ”he continued.
“I said, open your eyes and see what the Armenians have turned our mosques into. Was there any reaction from there? No! It was destroyed by the Armenians. What have we destroyed? What have we done? We just repaired them and took care of them. Therefore, you know, we simply cannot ignore such an unreasonable approach.
We are ready to continue to cooperate with UNESCO. But on one condition, UNESCO must maintain its international status. UNESCO is not affiliated with any country. If this approach prevails in our relations, then there will be cooperation. If not, this cooperation can be revised,” Aliyev said.