State Committee: Construction of Russian Orthodox Church in Azerbaijani occupied territories is disrespect for international law and territorial integrity of country
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 21 / Trend K. Zarbaliyeva /
The construction of the Russian Orthodox Church and the laying of the foundation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan - in Khankendi is disrespect for international law and territorial integrity of our country, the State Committee for Work with Religious Associations spokesman Saleh Aslanov said.
Official representative of the Committee said that laying of the foundation of "God's House" in Nagorno-Karabakh, which is recognized as the occupied territory by international organizations and world public, without official permission of Azerbaijan and with the assistance of the heads of the separatist regime, is not justified by either secular or divine canons.
"Those, who commit it, are responsible not only to international laws, but also before God," Aslanov said.
World religions are representatives and defenders of peace, stability and justice. Their religious leaders must realize their historical responsibility. They must not be together with aggressors, the spokesman said.
"Otherwise, it will not give a great image for so influential religious structure, as the Russian Orthodox Church and the faith represented by millions of followers," Aslanov said.
An event to lay the foundation of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Protection of the Blessed Virgin was held in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan June 18.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.