Patriarch Kirill: Nagorno-Karabakh wound keeps bleeding
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a bleeding wound on the body of the Caucasus, the Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia said during a meeting with the chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office, Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade, in Moscow, the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza reports. Pashazade arrived in the Russian capital on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Patriarch Kirill said, referring to Allahshukur Pashazade, that the task of religious leaders is to promote peace. "We've known each other for more than 30 years, a lot has happened during this time: we survived through a very difficult period of life, including the collapse of the country and the formation of national states in the former Soviet Union. This process was not peaceful all the time. And we know that the Karabakh wound is still bleeding. I gratefully acknowledge your contribution to the dialogue, which contributed to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," the Patriarch thanked the Sheikh-ul-Islam.
"This is a very noble and difficult mission. When people are trying to reconcile the parties, they always run the risk of being misunderstood, but only those who make peacemaking efforts, realize that peace is the way out of any war," the head of the Russian Orthodox Church added.
Patriarch also stressed the importance of relations between Russia and Azerbaijan. "Russia and Azerbaijan are closely linked to each other. There is a largest Russian diaspora in Azerbaijan, Russian people is an important factor in the life of Azerbaijan. The same thing can be said about the Azerbaijanis living in Russia," the head of the Russian Orthodox Church stressed.
Patriarch Kirill addressed the most urgent topic on the global agenda - the fight against international terrorism. "You and I have always shared a common position towards terrorism. Today we know how people suffer in the Middle East and North Africa. Especially the Christian minorities," the head of the Russian Orthodox Church warned.
"We know that terrorists kill not only Christians, but also Muslims. This is crazy. No political objectives can explain the fact that people belonging to the same faith and the same nationality kill each other. All this requires the efforts of the international community, including the representatives of religious communities," the Patriarch concluded.
Allahshukur Pashazade, in turn, thanked the Patriarch for the meeting and conveyed him the best wishes of Azerbaijani people and President Ilham Aliyev on the occasion of his 70th birthday. He also stressed that Azerbaijan appreciates Russia's efforts to establish peace in the East.
Pashazade also praised the attention of the head of the ROC to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. "Of course, the Karabakh conflict is the factor destabilizing the situation in the Caucasus. We thank you for your position and efforts to ensure that this conflict has not reached the religious level. Azerbaijani people and the President attach a great importance to this," the chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office pointed out.
"What is happening today in the world strongly force us, religious leaders, to take new, more substantial solutions. Radical, terrorist forces use Islam to kill people. This is unacceptable, we must fight against it. As you rightly said, not only Muslims live in the Middle East, but also Christians and representatives of other religions. As a religious figure I believe that if we work together, it will have a significant impact on political processes," Allahshukur Pashazade said.
After that, the Azerbaijani Ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu read out Ilham Aliyev's letter of greetings to Patriarch Kirill.