Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 01 / Trend /
First Lady of Azerbaijan, President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva attended a ceremony dedicated to the 20th anniversary of restoration of Azerbaijan`s independence in Vatican on Tuesday as part of her visit to Italy.
Prior to the ceremony Mrs. Aliyeva met with President of the Vatican`s Council for Culture Gianfranco Ravasi. Recalling his visit to Azerbaijan and acquaintance with Heydar Aliyev Foundation Ravasi highlighted the importance of the project realized by Azerbaijan in the Vatican Apostolic Library. The project allowed restoring 15 out of 40 manuscripts on Azerbaijan.
The First Lady of Azerbaijan hailed close cooperation between the sides. She praised Vatican`s role in the joint projects implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and expressed confidence on further expansion of these ties.
The sides exchanged keepsakes.
The events were held with support of the Azerbaijani embassy in Vatican and initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
Following the meeting Azerbaijan`s First Lady and President of the Vatican`s Council for Culture familiarized themselves with the exhibition featuring photos and videos of Baku`s ancient and current look, cultural monuments, Azerbaijan`s rich cultural heritage. Ravasi was also informed on Azerbaijani carpets.
The guests also viewed works presented in the International Arts Festival "Giz Galasi" (Maiden`s Tower).
Mrs. Aliyeva got acquainted with manuscripts restored with participation of Azerbaijani scientists in the Apostolic Library.
The Italian version of the "Azerbaijan" publication was also presented as part of the exhibition.
In the opening of the ceremony President of the Vatican`s Council for Culture Gianfranco Ravasi underlined that Azerbaijan is a country paying great attention to intercultural dialogue. He described Azerbaijan as a tolerant country and stressed that cooperation between Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Vatican is 'useful'. Ravasi highly valued Mrs. Aliyeva`s contributions to popularization of country`s culture.
Addressing the event, Azerbaijan`s First Lady welcomed the participants and spoke of country`s achievements over the past 20 years. She briefed the attendees on Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and pointed out that the conflict resulted in displacement of over one million Azerbaijanis and destruction of historical and cultural monuments in Karabakh. According to her, Azerbaijan still favors peaceful settlement of the conflict on the basis of norms of international law.
Aliyeva underlined that Azerbaijan became the most active initiator and participant of large-scale regional projects. She recalled the visit of Pope John Paul II to Azerbaijan in 2002.
The Gara Garayev Azerbaijan State Chamber orchestra gave a concert as part of the event.