All peoples and representatives of all religious live in Azerbaijan as one family: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (UPDATE)

All peoples and representatives of all religious live in Azerbaijan as one family: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (UPDATE)

EDITOR's NOTE: Details have been added after the seventh paragraph

All peoples and representatives of all religious live in Azerbaijan as one family.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev made an address at the international conference "Inter-religious dialogue: from mutual understanding to joint cooperation" dedicated to the sixtieth-birthday of chairman of the Clerical Office of Caucasus Muslims Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazadeh and thirtieth-anniversary of his activity as Sheikhulislam, AzerTaj state news agency reported.

"There were not any national or religious conflicts and clashes in Azerbaijan. I believe that they will not occur in future. All peoples and representatives of all religiouns live in Azerbaijan as one family. They actively work for development of Azerbaijan. They make contribution in general development of Azerbaijan as Azerbaijani worthy citizens," Azerbaijani President said.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva have attended an opening ceremony of the conference held on Friday.

Azerbaijani President stressed that the conference is dedicated to the sixtieth-birthday of chairman of the Clerical Office of Caucasus Muslims Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazadeh. Famous people participated in the forum.

Addressing the event, Azerbaijani President described the conference as the landmark event. He stressed that hosting the conference in Baku is not accidental since Azerbaijan contributes to inter-religious dialogue.

Azerbaijani President expressed confidence that the discussions to be held at the conference and made decisions will make a new contribution in development of the inter-religious dialogue in the world. He stressed that religious and Azerbaijani tolerance was always at the high level.

Azerbaijani President appreciated it as a logical result of independent Azerbaijan's policy.

Azerbaijani President stressed that Azerbaijan is the part of the Islamic world and Azerbaijani people are committed to its religion and national traditions. Azerbaijan is an active member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. It is also represented in European international organizations.

"Azerbaijan is a member of some European organizations due to its geographical location.

We seldom encounter such a country, which is doing everything possible for normal life and activities of representatives of all nations in the region while remaining devoted to its religious and national traditions," Azerbaijani President said.

Emphasizing that Azerbaijan has become the center of inter-religious and inter-civilization dialogue, Azerbaijani President stressed the need for such a dialogue to ensure peace on the planet. He said that the forums regularly held in Baku, as well as formal and informal contacts are important for development of the inter-religious dialogue.

"Baku has been declared the capital of Islamic culture this year. It is a great honor for us. I hope that Baku will also be declared as the capital of European Culture soon. After the restoration of state independence all freedoms, including freedom of conscience and religious freedom were ensured in Azerbaijan. More than 1,000 mosques were built in the period of independence in Azerbaijan. Hundreds of historical and religious monuments were restored. However, the Orthodox and Catholic churches, synagogues are being built and repaired in Azerbaijan. It is a very important part of our policy," Azerbaijani President said.

Congratulating Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazadeh with the anniversary, the Azerbaijani President expressed his deep gratitude for contribution to the development of inter-religious dialogue and a truly civil position in difficult period. Recalling about the sincere friendly relations between the Great Leader Heydar Aliyev and Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazadeh, the Azerbaijani president said that continuing this tradition, he maintained good relations with Chairman of the Clerical Office of Caucasus Muslims. The Azerbaijani President stressed that the unbreakable friendship serves the common interests of the Azerbaijani state and people.

After congratulating Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazadeh, the Azerbaijani President gave him "Sharaf" order.

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II on behalf of the Georgian President, Deputy Chairman of the Georgian Parliament Pridon Todua, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Vatican's Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI, President of the Republic of Dagestan of the Russian Federation Mukhu Aliev, President of the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation Ramzan Kadyrov, the representative of the Patriarchate Emmanuel on behalf of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch for All Belarus Filaret expressed Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazadeh their best wishes and presented gifts.

Then the congratulatory messages from Belorus President Alexander Lukashenko, Jordan's King Abdullah II, the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Latvian President Valdis Zatlers, Uzbek President Islam Karimov, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Turkish Prime-Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan were read out.

Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazadeh honored the memory of Great Leader Heydar Aliyev. He expressed Azerbaijani President his deep gratitude for high appreciation of his services to the people and his contribution to inter-religious dialogue, as well as regular support rendered to him for the sake of common ideas.

Chairman of the Clerical Office of Caucasus Muslims Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazadeh thanked for warm words and congratulations. He stressed that he will continue to contribute in inter-religious dialogue in future.

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