The European Parliament condemned Azerbaijan’s policy of erasing the Armenian heritage in the draft report of “Implementation of The New European Agenda for Culture and the EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations” for 2022

In recent months, the European Parliament has been preparing the Implementation of The New European Agenda for Culture and the EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations, among other urgent issues, the protection of the cultural values of Artsakh has been highlighted for the strategy of effective implementation of the global cultural policy.

As a result of the discussions in the EU of the delegation of the Republic of Armenia with the colleagues of the European Parliament, a decision was made to submit an amendment regarding the resolution adopted by the European Parliament in March 2022 on the destruction of cultural values in Nagorno-Karabakh, in which there are clear and critical messages directed to Azerbaijan (taking into account the decisions on the destruction of cultural sites carried out by the ISIS/Da’esh  terrorist group on April 28, 2015 and on the destruction of cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh on March 10, 2022).

The deadline for submitting the amendments (September 16th) coincided with the aggression launched on September 13 by Azerbaijan against Armenia, and Nathalie Loiseau also submitted a separate amendment as follows: “Condemns Azerbaijan's continued policy of erasing and denying Armenian cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh and its surroundings, violating international law and the court decision of December 7, 2021. Condemns Azerbaijan's renewed aggression against Armenia, which further endangers the Armenian cultural heritage, calls on the EU to actively pressure Azerbaijan to end hostilities and participate in efforts to protect endangered cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh, in particular by deploying mechanisms to facilitate UNESCO's fact-finding mission.”

Another amendment was made by eight Greek and Cypriot deputies from the EPP faction: “Calls on the Turkish authorities to fully respect the historical and cultural character of cultural and religious monuments and symbols, especially those included in the UNESCO World Heritage List; calls on Turkey to comply fully with its international obligations to protect monuments of Christian, Armenian, Pontic and Jewish origin.”

On the eve of the vote, on October 12, a new report prepared by Caucasus Heritage Watch was sent to the factions of the European Parliament, in which the case of the destruction of Surb Sargis church in Hadrut was presented.

At the session held on October 13, the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) of the European Parliament adopted by the majority of votes the amendment regarding the reference to the previous resolutions, as well as the 106th and 137th amendments.

The adoption of the above-mentioned amendment 106 was important not only due to its clear condemnation of Azerbaijan's aggression against Armenia on September 13, but also the reaffirmation of the AFET position condemning Azerbaijan's policy of destruction of Armenian cultural values in parallel with the development of reports on Armenia and Azerbaijan. After the adoption of the resolution on the destruction of cultural values in Nagorno-Karabakh in March 2022, Azerbaijan has been actively campaigning against the "one-sidedness" of this resolution.