Time in Yerevan: 11:07,   22 May 2024

Azerbaijan desecrating graves in Nagorno-Karabakh – Armenian Ambassador to Belgium

Azerbaijan desecrating graves in Nagorno-Karabakh – Armenian Ambassador to Belgium

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 19, ARMENPRESS.  Azerbaijan is desecrating the graves of ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, Tigran Balayan, the Ambassador of Armenia to Belgium and the head of Armenia’s mission to the European Union told Brussels Signal.

Speaking to Brussels Signal, Tigran Balayan said  that Azerbaijan has begun destroying religious artefacts belonging to the former Armenian population of the region, the vast majority of whom have since fled the territory.

 “The war against Armenian cemeteries has started,” the official said during an interview with Justin Stares, Head of News at Brussels Signal.

“We have tons of video and photo evidence that they are starting to ruin the cemeteries in the villages and also the churches.”

Balayan went on to claim the country was also demolishing smaller churches across Nagorno-Karabakh, saying that the one in his native village had been destroyed.

Azerbaijan has, he added, also removed religious symbols from larger buildings.

“All the crosses from all Armenian churches in Nagorno-Karabakh were removed by occupying soldiers,” he said.

 Balayan’s assertions stood in stark contrast to those made by Azerbaijani officials in recent weeks.

After a period of detente between the two Caucasus countries, tensions have once again spiked. That came after a clash on the border between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces, as a result 4 Armenian troops dead.

Speaking to Brussels Signal, presidential representative Elchin Amirbayov insisted that his country remained committed to protecting the rights of ethnic Armenians in the disputed territory.

He added that Azerbaijan would “welcome back” any ethnic Armenians who had fled the region, describing them as being entitled to Azerbaijani citizenship in the same way other ethnic minorities in the country are.

That was rejected by Balayan, who instead said Azerbaijan had worked to prevent the return of ethnic Armenians to Nagorno-Karabakh.

“There were attempts by some people to return. They were rejected by Azerbaijan,” he insisted.


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