The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answers on 7th March 2022:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the formation of the government of Azerbaijan’s working group to remove traces of Armenian heritage from Armenian churches.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): The UK Government has and will continue to urge both parties to protect the cultural heritage of all sites in the region and are deeply concerned by reports that both parties have destroyed cultural heritage. We will continue to raise our concerns with the respective governments and urge them to allow UNESCO unrestricted access to the region.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked Her Majesty’s Government:
- what representations they have made to the government of Azerbaijan about allowing UNESCO to undertake an independent mission to draw an inventory of significant cultural properties in Nagorno-Karabakh.
- what steps they are taking to work with (1) other governments, and (2) international partners, to ensure the protection of Armenian cultural heritage sites in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The UK Government continues to raise the importance of the protection of all cultural heritage sites with the Governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan and is deeply concerned by reports that both parties have destroyed cultural heritage. The UK Government continues to urge the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan, both bilaterally and in our statements in multilateral fora such as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, to allow international organisations unrestricted access to all areas of the region. This includes pressing both sides to ensure UNESCO is able to undertake its crucial work in support of historical and cultural heritage. We continue to underline our support for the efforts of UNESCO.