Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend S.Agayeva / Statements by leaders of Armenia, urging the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict to have religious roots are absurd, Haji Allahshukur Pashazade, the chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Department, Sheik-ul-Islam of Caucasus, said to a conference Model of Tolerance - Azerbaijan, in Baku on 16 November.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.
Recently, Serzh Sarkisian, the Armenian Prime Minister, stated that the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict roots to the religious factors.
"This nonsense is Armenian's alarm for the West, which realized its helplessness before the strengthening military power of Azerbaijan. Armenians pursue having more support from the West, playing the role of suffered nation," Pashazade said.
Sheik-ul-Islam replied the Armenians with the documents undersigned by Armenian Catholicos Vazgen I, who stated that 'attempts of representing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as an inter-religious are inadmissible and people confirming it are guilty before God.'
"Presently, Bazgen's followers deny their religious leaders' position for the sake of political benefits," Pashazade said. Over many centuries different religions have peacefully existed in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan can be a good example of tolerance for many world countries. Peaceableness and tolerance of Azerbaijan have been recognized by the world, Sheik-ul-Silam said.