The Caucasus Muslims' Board and Religious confessions in Azerbaijan issued joint statement, APA reports.
The statement reads:
"The Caucuses Muslims Board and religious confessions in Azerbaijan have sent numerous letters and appeals to the world community, religious leaders, foreign countries' government agencies and international organizations about the latest military provocations that Armenia has carried out in Azerbaijan's occupied lands and near the Azerbaijani - Armenian border since July 2020, as well as the war crimes against humanity, and consequences thereof, committed by the occupying regime against our civilian population and our towns and settlements that are a long distance from the fighting areas The religious center - the Caucasus Muslims' Board - is carrying out practical work in line with our government's policy toward a peaceful settlement of the Armenian Azerbaijani Nagorno - Karabakh conflict within Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.
The Caucasus Muslims' Board always uses its extensive international relations to provide the world community with broad and comprehensive information about the realities of Azerbaijan's righteous cause. The chairman of the CMB expresses his position on a fair and peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict from the rostrum of all international forums he participates in In his capacity as the religious leader of the Azerbaijani people, the CMB chairman has always been based on the position that a fur settlement to the conflict is important and that there is a need for peace talks to achieve this. Since 1988, that is, since the beginning of the Armenian Azerbaijani Nagorno - Karabakh conflict, he has met with Armenian religious leaders with the mediation of religious centers and authoritative religious leaders in different years - in particular, with the high mediation of head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill and Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia Il, and under the aegis of the World Council of Churches and with the observatory participation of representatives of The Vatican.
His meetings in different years with Armenian catholicoses in Switzerland's Montreux, Russia's Rostov, in Tbilisi, several times in Moscow, in Baku during the First Summit of World Religious Leaders, and in Yerevan during a meeting of the CIS Interreligious Council, aimed at helping prevent bloodshed and prepare a moral ground for a fair peace Joint statements signed by the CMB chairman and Armenian catholicoses - Vazgen 1, Garegin 1, and Garegin II - at the end of the meetings emphasized the confidence in a peaceful settlement of the conflict, the preparation of the ground for the peaceful coexistence of our peoples and the moral role of the religious leaders in this cause. Most importantly, the joint statements clearly emphasized that the conflict is not an inter - religious confrontation.
This was an important result, and Patriarch Kirill, who has made a special contribution to the peace mission emphasized the need to safeguard the results achieved and highlighted this point in his latest address to the religious leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia Since Armenia's latest provocations near Tovuz in July 2020 and the 27 September attacks, the CMB has been fulfilling its moral duty to inform world religious centers, organizations, and institutions that it cooperates with about the true essence of the fresh aggression against Azerbaijan Appeals that we have sent to the world's authoritative state, government and spiritual institutions through the Baku International Centre for Interfaith and Intercultural Cooperation, which has been operating under the CMB since 2017, covers about a hundred countries. The Caucasus Muslims Board released an address to the nation in the very first days of the Patriotic War to express its moral support for the Azerbaijani people.
Afterward, CMB chairman Sheikhulislam Allalishukur Pashazadeh and the leaders of religious confessions in our country signed an appeal of solidarity addressed to the president of Azerbaijan Authoritative persons around the world was told about the consequences of the latest acts of aggression against Azerbaijani lands by means of addresses that were signed by CMB chairman Sheikhulislam Allalishakur Pashazadeh and sent to Head of the Roman Catholic Church His Holiness Pope Francis, head of the Russian Orthodox Church and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, His Holiness Kirill, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia His Holiness llia 11: President of the Directorate of Religious Affairs in the Turkish Republic Mr. All Erbas, adviser on international affairs to the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Ali Akbar Velayuti, and also to international organizations - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, OSCE
Chairman - in - Office Edi Rama, Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary-General Yousef bin Ahmad Al - Othaimeen, IRCICA Director-General Halit Eren: Secretary - General of the International Union of Muslim Scholars Ali Mohiuddin Ali Algaradaghi ( Qatar ), Secretary-General of Religions for Peace Dr. Azza Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Islamic Charitable Organization Abdullah Matouq Al Matong ( Kuwait ); Muslim World League Secretary-General Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al - Issa ( Saudi Arabia ), and President of the Europe - Turkey Muslim Union Serdar Celeb In addition, letters with detailed information about the consequences of the latest acts of aggression against Azerbaijani lands was sent to Sheikh of Al - Azhar Ahmed el - Tayeb ( Egypt).
Afghan Minister of Hajj and Endowment Mohammad Qasim Halimi, the special adviser to the Senegalese president, Sheikh Mohammed Mansour Nias, Pakistani Minister of Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony Noor - ul - Haq Qadri, former President of the Republic of Tunisia Mohamed Moncef Marzouki: Moroccan Minister of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs Ahmed Toufiq, head of Algeria's Supreme Islamic Council Abu Abdullah Gholamullah, Vice-Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein, head of the US-based Simon Wiesenthal Center Abraham Cooper, Director of the Institute of Sephardic Studies at US-based Yeshiva University, Elie Abadie, president of the International Foundation for Ethnic Understanding Marc Schneier, Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Jerusalem Shlomo Amar, President of the US - based Congress of Christian Leaders Johnnie Moore, a member of the board of the Conference of European Rabbis, Rabbi of Geneva Yitzchak Dayan, Chief Rabbi of Berlin Yitshak Ehrenberg, religious leaders of Central Asian countries; muftis of the North Caucasus republics, heads of the central religious departments of all constituent parts of the Russian Federation, and others, with whom the CMB cooperates through the Baku International Centre for Interfaith and Intercultural Cooperation In response to our appeals, letters have been coming in from the world's religious leaders and influential personalities, which directly express support for Azerbaijan's righteous fight.
The reality is that the Armenian government has always tried to use religion to justify its aggressive policy, and, unfortunately, it continues to put it on the agenda today. From time to time Armenia insidiously and hypocritically inflates this very dangerous tendency of taking advantage of people's religious feelings for political purposes, skillfully using religious fanatism to secure comprehensive support from the world. Everybody knows that Armenia, which defies the world community ignores international laws and norms and is violating the ceasefire reached Russia's initiative, has fired heavy missiles at Ganja, Azerbaijan's second-largest city, and targeted civilians, houses, and civilian objects. A total of 47 - civilians, including five children, have been killed so far A a church that belongs to the Russian Orthodox Eparchy in Ganja, and the Imamzadeh complex in Ganja, which is of great spiritual importance to Muslims, have been damaged during the latest act of aggression. Against the background of these realities, the Armenian Church is circulating provocative fake information around the world, claiming that Azerbaijan has allegedly targeted the Christian church in Shusha. Azerbaijani official bodies have denied this provocative information and presented evidence to the contrary.
In our capacity as leaders of religious confessions, we consider it important to say that our Motherland, Azerbaijan, is a country that repairs, restores, and builds monuments, mosques, churches, and synagogues, which belong to all religions, in the territory of our country Shusha is Azerbaijan's rare pearl, and these kinds of accusations against a country that safeguards and protects all cultural and religious monuments here are irrelevant The entire world is a witness to the tolerance of the Azerbaijani people and its respect for multicultural values, and the attention and care that His Excellency Ilham Aliyev and our country's First Vice President Mehriban Khanum Aliyeva give to the samples of the world's a cultural and spiritual heritage that are important for entire mankind The the attempt at making the international community regard this country, which has repaired churches and mosques destroyed during the war in Serbia and restored catacombs in the Vatican and stained - glass windows in France, as a country that damages Christian religious monuments aim to use religion to create a Christian - Muslim confrontation.
The Azerbaijani government has repaired and protects the Armenian church in the center of the capital, Baku While visiting Baku, the Armenian Catholicos personally visited the church, held a prayer ceremony, met with Armenians who live in Azerbaijan, and familiarized himself with the library inside the church in which books in the Armenian language are kept Unlike Armenia, in Azerbaijan there are the Russian Orthodox Church's Eparchy, Russian - language education, Slavic University, Sunday schools for Orthodox, Catholic, Albanian - Udi Christians, as well as Jewish educational and cultural centers Our country is a country where members of ethnic and religious minorities enjoy all civil rights and freely exercise their ethnic and religious customs and traditions, and it is recognized around the world as a venue for dialogue and cooperation between cultures and religions.
The fact that Armenia is a mono-ethnic state and has carried out ethnic cleansing is a manifestation of its xenophobic tendency, and the fact that it lays claims to neighboring lands and committed the Khojaly genocide shows its terroristic nature. The destruction by Armenia of tens of thousands of religious and cultural monuments in the Azerbaijani lands that it has been occupying and the falsification of their origin is vandalism and the purposeful destruction of samples of Muslim culture is proof that it implements Islamophobia as a state policy The Azerbaijani people are a peace-loving nation, they have not laid claims to anybody else's land.
At present, while clearing its own lands in its own territory from the occupiers, Azerbaijan is relying on the political will of the head of state, on the determination of its people, and on the strength and might of its army. The fact that we are on the righteous path is an important factor that gives us strength. The international community is aware that we are acting within the framework of international law to restore our territorial integrity which it recognizes. We see this in the numerous letters of support and phone calls of solidarity that we are receiving.
We are grateful for the bottom of our hearts to all the countries, peoples and famous persons who are supporting our righteous cause and defending justice We, the leaders of all faith-based groups in Azerbaijan, declare once again that we are united around the righteous case of our Motherland and that we support our people, our state, and our head of state.
There is one thing we demand - that the four UN resolutions on the unconditional withdrawal of Armenian military units from Azerbaijan's occupied lands be implemented Guided by the importance of the goal of saving human lives, which are considered to be the highest value in the holy books of all heavenly religions, and putting an end to the bloodshed, we are asking the world community, religious leaders, heads of state and intonational organizations to spare no effort for a peaceful resolution of the Armenian Azerbaijani Nagorno - Karabakh conflict within Azerbaijan's territorial integrity May God Almighty protect us!
Sheikh - ul - Islam Allahshukur Pashazadeh Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Board
Aleksandr Archbishop, Head of Baku and Azerbaijan Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church
Milikh Yevdayev the Mountain Jews Community in Azerbaijan
Aleksandr Sharovski of the European Jews Community in Baku
Robert Mobili Head of the Alban - Udi Christian Community"