BAKU, Azerbaijan, Nov. 25
Armenian “historians” and fraudsters have simply Armenianized ancient Albanian churches, added their own inscriptions on them and appropriated these churches, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said addressing the nation, Trend reports.
“Kalbajar is our ancient land. Kalbajar is one of our largest districts in terms of territory. The historical sites of Kalbajar are our great asset. Both mosques and churches are our historical treasures. The people of Azerbaijan know this well, and the whole world should know that churches in Kalbajar belong to the ancient state of Caucasian Albania. There are many historical documents confirming this. This is no secret," the president said.
"Armenian “historians” and fraudsters have simply Armenianized ancient Albanian churches, added their own inscriptions on them and appropriated these churches. Suffice it to look at history and anyone can see that in the 1830's, Tsarist Russia abolished the Albanian Church, gave all the property of the Albanian Church to the Armenian Gregorian Church, and Armenian priests and their patrons began to appropriate these churches. Their main task was to erase the history of Caucasian Albania. But we did not allow that to happen. Azerbaijan has a broad scientific base on this issue. There are research works available. These works are and should be shared not only with the scientific community, but also with the world community as a whole," he said.
"Caucasian Albania was a great state. Gabala was its capital. Historical sites and churches belonging to Caucasian Albania are our historical and cultural heritage. We are protecting these churches. I have visited these churches many times – in the city of Shaki, in Gabala district, the Udi church. As you know, during the war, on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the repairs of the ancient Udi Caucasian Albanian Church in Nij settlement was completed and this church was opened. We are protecting these churches as our cultural heritage. Therefore, no-one should be worried. These churches will continue to be protected by the state," said President Aliyev.
"Azerbaijan's policy on multiculturalism and inter-religious relations is praised by the whole world and world leaders. Let certain Western circles who want to express their concern look at our destroyed mosques, the Aghdam, Shusha, Zangilan, Jabrayil, Fuzuli and other mosques. These mosques have either been destroyed or desecrated – pigs were kept in them. Why isn’t this causing concern? Why has no-one raised this issue for 30 years except for us? I have repeatedly raised this issue from international forums and in contacts with my foreign colleagues. Why wasn’t anyone worried about that? Why didn't anyone want to send an international delegation on this issue? The Azerbaijani people want answers to these questions. We know the answer. Therefore, I want to say again that those who want to interfere in our work or to accuse us of something should first of all look in the mirror,” the head of state said.