Forbes: Azerbaijan - crossroads of nations, cultures, religions
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 5
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
For Azerbaijan, Pope Francis’s visit was part of a broader vision to become a great crossroads of nations and cultures, which has resulted in a strategy of promoting multiculturalism and internationalism in many forms, Wade Shepard, Forbes contributor, said in his article.
“Azerbaijan has been very active in hosting an array of international events, which have included the 2015 European Games, the 2016 European Grand Prix Formula One race, the World Chess Olympics, and Eurovision,” Shepard said. “Baku even built an entire Olympic village and other facilities in hopes of eventually hosting the world’s biggest sporting event.”
Shepard added that sitting to the north of Iran, to the east of Georgia, and to the south of Russia, Azerbaijan has always been a crossroads of nations, cultures, and religions.
The country was a major stop on the ancient Silk Road, the article said.
“Azerbaijan is enacting a “multi-vector” policy of establishing friendly relations with countries from all sides of the geopolitical tracks, so to speak, concurrently dealing with Israel and Iran, the U.S. and China, Ukraine and Russia,” Shepard said.
Pope Francis also congratulated Azerbaijan for creating a religiously tolerant atmosphere and for cultivating a society that has largely avoided extremism, the article said.
Shepard added that Pope Francis praised Azerbaijan as a model for a world divided by violent extremism for the sake of encouraging religious tolerance in the region where Catholics are a minority.