Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attends Iftar party
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has attended an Iftar party on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan hosted by Head of the Caucasian Muslims` Board Sheikh ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade at his residence on Monday, State News Agency AzerTAj reported.
The ceremony started with opening remarks of Sheikh ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade.
He thanked President Ilham Aliyev for accepting the invitation to attend the Iftar party and described this as respect for Islam and "our national and spiritual values".
Pashazade noted the Ramadan is a month of solidarity, brotherhood, love and mercy. He pointed out Iftar party being organized in Azerbaijan demonstrates traditional tolerance and unity in the country.
The Sheikh ul-Islam thanked President Ilham Aliyev for awarding him the "Sharaf" (Honor) order for his contribution to ensuring the freedom of religion of the Azerbaijani citizens and on the occasion of his 60th jubilee.
Pashazade underlined the stability, development, unity, the freedom of religion and tolerance are based on national leader Heydar Aliyev`s wise policy. He added President Ilham Aliyev successfully continues this policy.
The Sheikh ul-Islam also underlined the contributions of President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva to protection of national and spiritual values in the country.
He extended his best wishes to President Ilham Aliyev and the Azerbaijani people on the month of Ramadan.
Head of the Baku and Caspian Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church, Father Alexander spoke at the event, praising tolerance in Azerbaijan. He presented Russian Orthodox Church`s St Apostle Bartholomew gold medal to President Ilham Aliyev for his contribution to strengthening interreligious dialogue.
The event was also addressed by head of the community of Mountain Jews Semyon Ikhiilov and ecclesiastical superior of Vatican`s "sui iuris" mission VladimirFekete.
Speaking at the event, President Ilham Aliyev said iftar party had become a good tradition, describing it a striking example of government-religion unity.
He noted this tradition started by national leader Heydar Aliyev and sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade is continued successfully today.
The Head of State pointed out interreligious dialogue in the country is exemplary, saying all nations live as one family here. The Azerbaijani leader said the country contributes to the Islamic solidarity.
On the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, President Ilham Aliyev expressed confidence that the problem would be solved in line with international legal norms and on the basis of territorial integrity of the country.
President Ilham Aliyev noted Pashazade who received Sharaf order last year has special services to homeland and enjoys great international prestige.
The Head of State expressed his best wishes to him and the people on the Ramadan holiday.
Koran was recited to start the iftar party.
Present at the meeting also were Parliament Speaker Ogtay Asadov, Head of the Presidential Administration Ramiz Mehdiyev, state and government officials, ambassadors accredited in Azerbaijan, representatives of religious communities, MPs.
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