Azeris Claim No Armenian Monumen’s in Nakhichevan

BAKU (Freedom Radio)–The foreign minister of Azerbaijan Vilayat Guliev responding to the Armenia’s foreign minister Vartan Oskanian’s recent statemen’s at the Pro-Armenia Conference about Azeri destruction of Armenian historical monumen’s in Nakhichevan–said that Oskanian’s words are untrue and expressed Azerbaijan’s willingness to host UNESCO representatives on the matter.

Armenia has already filed an official compaliant with UNESCO requesting that a special UNESCO delegation travel to Nakhichevan to investigate.

Azeri historian Vali Bakhsaliev meanwile unveiled a new page in history saying,"there are no Armenian historical monumen’s in Nakhichevan and such a statement is an effort to lead astray the international society."

The destruction was uncovered in early December of 2002 by the "Land and Culture" (LCO) organization. The LCO reported eyewitness accounts of destruction by Iranian border guards on the opposite bank of the Arax River. The historic cemetery–located 10-km from Julfa (Iran) and across the northern bank of the Arax River–has three hills–each representing different eras from the Twelfth to Seventeenth centuries.

At the beginning of Twentieth century–the cemetery in which ancestors of former Nor Jugha Armenia’s were buried–had some 12,000 Khatchkars. Due to premeditated destruction by the Azeri Government–the cemetery now has less than 2000 Khachkars–most of them vandalized.

The destruction of the cemetery had began much earlier–but after alarm signals by LCO–the vandalism stopped in 1998.

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