Ilham Aliyev: Multiculturalism hasn't failed, Azerbaijan's example proves that
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 16
Azerbaijan's history, traditions, multicultural development of our nation is a good example of how relations between different countries, civilizations, different religions, can be properly planned and organized, said Azerbaijani President IlhamAliyev.
He made the remarks in his opening speech at the 5th News Agencies World Congress in Baku, Nov. 16.
"Azerbaijan is a good example of multiculturalism," said the president. "By the way, this year in Azerbaijan is declared the Year of Multiculturalism. It is our state policy. At the same time, it is also the general mood in our society. We organize numerous international events, among them - the annual Baku Humanitarian Forum, Intercultural Dialogue forum. This year we hosted the 7th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations," said Ilham Aliyev.
The president went on to add that an important sign of Azerbaijan's achievements in this area was the September visit of the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, to Azerbaijan.
"He visited the catholic church, Azerbaijani mosques, he met with representatives of all the leaders of religious communities of Azerbaijan," said the president. "He delivered a message from Baku, from this hall, to the world, about the values of intercultural, interreligious dialogue."
"We consider this as one of the achievements, especially in today's world, where unfortunately we see confrontations based on religious and ethnic grounds," said the president. "We see tragedies, we see suffering of people, just because of their nationality or religious roots. And these are very concerning developments."
President Aliyev went on to add that Azerbaijan proposes its own agenda - the agenda of multiculturalism, which has not failed and the example of Azerbaijan proves that.
"We propose agenda of cooperation, mutual understanding. These are positive trends, so our role in this respect is of course mainly based on our traditions and needs for our country, because Azerbaijan is multi-ethnic, multi-confessional country, and we have peace, and all the representatives of different ethnic groups and religions live in peace and dignity in Azerbaijan," he said.
"At the same time, this is the message to the world. Because we are not an isolated island, we live in the neighborhood, therefore, we are interested. It is our legitimate interest to see positive development in the area, both in the region and in the world," he said.