Holding of Lezghin Symposium in Moscow is not Separatism: President of Federal Lezghin Autonomy of Russia

Russia, 15 May / corr. Trend R. Agayev/ There is no political and separatism motive hidden in holding the international conference entitled 'Caucasus Albania and Lezghin People: Historical and Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Era', Arif Karimov, the President of the Federal Lezghin National and Cultural Autonomy (FLNCA) said in his exclusive interview with Trend .

"I have always considered Azerbaijan a brotherly country and Azerbaijan - my native land. Holding of such symposiums does not indicate any signs of separatism," Karimov said.

The pamphlet 'Present-day problems of Lazgins and Lazgi speaking nations' was published by FLNCA and Committee on National Affairs of the Russian State Duma (Parliament) on the ground of materials obtained from a round table. The report developed by Abduragimov, Chairman of the National Council of Lazgi Nations 'National-Cultural features of development of South Dagestan nations', openly urges to 'recognize forcible split of Lazgi people in 1920s'. The report tells about the illegal delimitation of the borders between the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan, as well as a need to consider them again and to join the northern regions of Azerbaijan to Dagestan in order to form the Lezgistan.

The book by Gurban Khaligovich Akimov, the member of the Pedagogical Research Institute of Republic of Dagestan, entitled Lezghistan on Word Map published in 2007, was sold in the symposium for 300 rubles. The book describes that the historical and cultural heritage of Azerbaijan belongs to Lezghin people and the book does not mention Azerbaijanis and Azerbaijan as a state.

"There is no separatism in this symposium. Therefore, I do not see any reason for anxiety," said Karimov and added that the reports in the Azerbaijani media about the separatist character of symposium, 'traces of Moscow, Kremlin's request' do not correspond to reality. After all, we discuss the Caucasian Albania, its statehood and event that took place in the1500s. All nations who lived in that territory, Lezghins, Azerbaijanis and Talishs and others have common moral rights to study their history and culture," the President of FLNCA said.

Karimov also reported that five Caucasus study experts from Azerbaijan and the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu did not accept the invitation to take part in the symposium.

"The participation of the Azerbaijani scholars would be more expedient. During my opening speech, I said that this international conference is deeply scientific one and anyone who tries to give a political coloring to it will be deprived of all the opportunities to make a speech," said Arif Karimov,"

According to Karimov, it was not earlier planned to hold a conference under such title, but to hold a scientific conference dedicated to history and culture of lezghin people. However, the members of the organization committee recommended to entitle a symposium like this as there are Lezghin speaking people just as Turkic speaking people, Finno-Ugric and others, he said.

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