The Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been protracted for too long, said Chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office Sheikh-ul-Islam Haji Allahshukur Pashazade.
He made the remarks at a meeting with Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II in Moscow on Friday, an APA correspondent reported from Moscow.
Pashazade expressed hope that the Moscow meeting will benefit all the peoples of the Caucasus.
“The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been protracted for too long. We met before, but, unfortunately, these meetings did not bring results. Civilians die not only in Nagorno-Karabakh, but also on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border. Such an approach to this conflict is unlikely to contribute to its resolution,” he said.
Pashazade said he believes that religious leaders can contribute to the resolution of this conflict. “We are religious figures, not military ones. We must find a way to solve this problem so that our peoples do not suffer.”
Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan, and the war was on the territory of Azerbaijan, the CMO head stressed. “Azerbaijani territories were occupied. I propose, under the leadership of Patriarch Kirill, to call on the leaders of our states to intensify efforts for a peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict,” he said.
Pashazade underscored the need to liberate the occupation of Azerbaijani territorie.
“Millions of people cannot go to their native lands and visit the graves of their loved ones. Those territories are under occupation. There are facts proving the desecration of graves. It’s necessary to begin the process of gradual return of the regions adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh,” he added.
Pashazade recalled that Dilgam Asgarov, a Russian citizen of Azerbaijani origin, was taken hostage when he visited the graves of relatives.
"Hostages, captives must be released. We have to take the first step so that people can return to their homeland. We should not meet for the sake of meetings. We will live side by side, no one will go anywhere. Therefore, our meeting should give a result I once again appeal to the Armenian Catholicos not to return to the past after this meeting. I reiterate that I have high hopes for this meeting,” he concluded.