November 4, 2012 - 18:13 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar has issued a statement on the protection of cultural heritage in the region.
“After the appointment, I started learning about the culture and history of the country. I have recently visited Nakhijevan, Lankaran, Shaki, Oghuz, Guba and Lahij. These visits gave me a better opportunity to familiarize myself with the country’s cultural heritage. The region has a complicated history. Nagorno Karabakh conflict claimed thousands of lives, and seriously affected the places having historical, religious and cultural importance in the region. During my visit to Nakhijevan, I held discussions with the local authorities on the destruction of the ancient Armenian cemetery in Jugha. I regret that the authorities did not allow me to visit the place, citing security reasons. The protection of the region’s heritage is essential to future peace," the statement reads.
Ambassador further hailed the efforts taken by both parties for protection of each other’s cultural heritage.
"Today, for example, I visited St. Gregory the Illuminator's Armenian Church in Baku, where I was briefed on the church’s history, the books and manuscripts in the Armenian language. The United States supports the efforts of Armenia and Azerbaijan to protect the historical archives of each other’s communities in their countries. For example, next week Armenian and Azerbaijani archivists will be in the U.S. on a joint program to learn more about preservation of cultural artifacts. Efforts of this kind are encouraging and we will do our best to support any such initiatives in the future,” the statement reads, according to apa.az.