Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 10
Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade, chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Office (CMO), has met with Georgian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Zurab Pataradze at the CMO, Trend reports referring to the Office.
Pashazade informed the ambassador about the second Summit of World Religious Leaders to be held Nov. 14-15 in Baku, spoke about the participation of the Georgian delegation led by the Patriarch. The ambassador, in turn, shared his impressions with Sheikhulislam about successful visit by Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia to Azerbaijan on Oct. 9.
Then a conversation took place on Azerbaijan’s and Georgia’s religious and spiritual ties. It was noted that, having passed the trial by history, these relations have always maintained a high level thanks to the wisdom of the peoples, heads of state and religious leaders of the two countries.
The chairman of the CMO said that he has known Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II for 40 years and has always been a witness to his wisdom and foresight. Sheikhulislam, noting that he has infinite respect and great trust in the Patriarch, whom he calls friend and brother, emphasized his wisdom demonstrated in the most difficult times for the region, his contribution to a fair settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, adding that he greatly appreciates his mediation in peace negotiations of religious leaders of the Caucasus.
During the meeting, the parties discussed the issue of the Keshikchidag (David Gareja) monastery complex, located in Azerbaijan’s territory, and also exchanged views on the last letter by the Patriarch addressed to Allahshukur Pashazade.
In a conversation with the ambassador, the chairman of the CMO said that the issue of Keshikchidag is of interstate nature, and expressed hope that the issue will be solved by the intergovernmental commission within Azerbaijan’s sovereignty, based on the principles of traditional friendship, fraternity and good neighborliness between the Azerbaijani and Georgian peoples and states.
Sheikhulislam reminded the statement by Patriarch Ilia II, made in May 2019, and published on the official website of the Georgian Patriarchate.
In a statement regarding the issue that arose several months ago around the Keshikchidag complex, Patriarch Ilia II said that unfortunately, analyzing all what is happening, it seems that outer forces that want to create serious problems between Azerbaijan and Georgia, use a church issue to reach their goal, but people shouldn’t give in to provocations.
Thanking Sheikhulislam for the invitation, the ambassador said that an intergovernmental commission is working on the Keshikchidag issue, there is already progress, and the issue will be resolved step by step through negotiations.
The parties came to a consensus that outer forces inciting such issues pursue insidious goals.
The ambassador emphasized that he relies on the wisdom of the Azerbaijani and Georgian religious leaders in this matter, and that no interested forces will be allowed to harm the relations between Georgia and Azerbaijan in any field.
At the end of the meeting, the ambassador promised to personally convey the greetings by Sheikhulislam and the information about the meeting to Patriarch Ilia II.