(MENAFN- AzerNews) By Ayya Lmahamad
The Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian religious leaders have called for peace and the prevention of the unauthorized use of weapons that endanger civilian lives.
Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Office (CMO) Sheikh ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade, Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus' Kirill and Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II said this in a joint statement after their meeting held in Moscow on October 13.
"We call for clarification of the fate of missing persons, assistance in the process of freeing prisoners of war, and prevention of the unauthorized use of weapons that endanger the lives of civilians," he said.
He stressed that every effort should be taken to refrain from calling for military action in the conflict zone.
"We urge young people not to succumb to the spirit of aggression and radicalism and to seek peace above all," he added.
Patriarch Kirill, who read out the statement, underlined that the religious leaders are ready to contribute to the reconciliation of Azerbaijani and Armenian peoples for the good and prosperity of present and future generations.
He expressed his confidence that religions have unique peacemaking potential, especially in such a delicate and sensitive area as inter-ethnic relations.
"No matter how difficult the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations may be at this stage, we believe that it is faith in God and love which can help heal the wounds caused by years of tragic confrontation. This is a very difficult path that requires spiritual wisdom and insight," he stated.
Noting that the Caucasus has always been famous for its great diversity of peoples, languages and cultures, he stated that "there is no future for the Azerbaijani and Armenian peoples other than living together".
"Today it is especially important to restore people's trust in each other, to learn again to perceive the neighbor with respect and readiness for mutual assistance," he emphasized.
"For its part, the Russian Orthodox Church prays for the reconciliation of the two peoples close to it and is ready to continue to assist in every way it can to ensure that a lasting and just peace reigns in the South Caucasus," he added.
It should be noted that religious leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan arrived in the Russian capital at the invitation of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The day before, a meeting took place between the chairman of the CMO and the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus'.
Earlier, news sources reported, quoting Pashazade that Azerbaijan, under President Ilham Aliyev's leadership, based on its sovereign rights and in accordance with the UN Charter, Security Council resolutions, and decisions of other international organizations, restored territorial integrity recognized at the international level.
Pashazade made the remark at a meeting with Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill and Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II in Moscow.
The conflict is over, and the time has come to talk about the future, about peace, and strive to make the region stable and secure, Pashazade said.
According to him, the situation that arose after the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia, and Armenia signed a statement on November 10, 2020, which put an end to hostilities and an armed conflict between the two countries, creates opportunities for the onset of a new era in the South Caucasus.
"From now on, there should be no place for revanchist rhetoric, calls for revenge, the enmity between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and it is necessary to start cooperation for the benefit of our peoples,” Pashazade said.
“There is no territorial unit called "Nagorno-Karabakh" on the political and geographical map of Azerbaijan. Armenians living today in Khankandi and adjacent settlements are, like representatives of other ethnic groups, citizens of Azerbaijan and are obliged to comply with Azerbaijani legislation. As for the status, this issue is not a subject of discussion for Azerbaijan," Pashazade said.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews' staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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