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Azerbaijan Accused of Blocking UNESCO Artsakh Visit Over Imposed Conditions

Azerbaijan Accused of Blocking UNESCO Artsakh Visit Over Imposed Conditions

Azerbaijani authorities have compelled UNESCO to cancel its intended visit to the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), igniting fresh controversy and debate over access to the occupied region.

The cancellation came about following a clash between Azerbaijani officials and UNESCO regarding the proposed route for the visit to the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). According to Azerbaijani reports, Azerbaijan claimed UNESCO had rejected their suggested itinerary for the visit. Azerbaijan purportedly proposed a route passing through Aghdam, aiming to document the “destruction caused” by Armenians, with an agreement to subsequently visit Artsakh’s capital of Stepanakert, a city of significant interest to UNESCO.

Contrary to Azerbaijani claims, it was revealed that UNESCO's intentions were different from what was initially conveyed. UNESCO reportedly informed Azerbaijan that the mission aimed to inspect just two monuments in the territories before moving on to Stepanakert. Azerbaijan objected to this proposal, deeming it insincere and lacking transparency.

The Azerbaijani side accused UNESCO of imposing conditions that did not align with their expectations, subsequently rejecting the visit under these circumstances. An Azerbaijani news agency reported this stance, emphasizing a continuation of Azerbaijan's long-standing policy of preventing UNESCO's access to Nagorno-Karabakh over the past three decades.

"This visit is in jeopardy due to the insincere conditions put forward by UNESCO. Azerbaijan stands firm against the visit under such terms," the Azerbaijani news agency stated.

Thus, Azerbaijan, which for 30 years prevented UNESCO's visit to Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), continues the same policy. The Azerbaijani authorities are forcing UNESCO to make a choice: either comply with Azerbaijani demands or forgo the visit altogether.


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