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Azerbaijan to protect churches in disputed territories of Nagorno-Karabakh



John Burger - published on 11/19/20

Armenians concerned about fate of houses of worship as ceasefire terms include transfer of land.

Azerbaijan has reportedly guaranteed protection of and free access to all Christian churches and monasteries in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The move comes amid concerns for Armenian houses of worship in the regions that will be administered by Azerbaijan under the terms of a Russia-brokered ceasefire.

Last month, the Armenian Apostolic See of Echmiadzin reported desecration and attacks on the Armenian cathedral in Shushi after Azerbaijani troops took control of Nagorno-Karabakh.

At the request of the local population, Russian soldiers who were sent to the region as “peacekeepers” have established a military garrison in the Dadivank monastery in the Kelbecer area, Fides reported.

In late September, Azerbaijan launched a military campaign to take parts of Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave that is located within the borders of Azerbaijan.

According to the New York Times, the ceasefire calls for Armenia’s army to withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh and be replaced by Russian peacekeepers. Azerbaijan will keep territory it gained in recent fighting. That includes a strategic town, known as Shusha to Azerbaijanis and Shushi to Armenians — the second-largest town in the region.


Read more:
Armenian cathedral is severely damaged in conflict with Azerbaijan

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