President Ilham Aliyev receives Secretary-General of Muslim Council of Elders

  02 April 2024    Read: 540
 President Ilham Aliyev receives Secretary-General of Muslim Council of Elders

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Mohamed Abdelsalam, the Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders, reports. 

Noting that Azerbaijan had made great efforts to strengthen Muslim solidarity, the head of state recalled that the city of Shusha, which had been liberated from occupation in 2020, was declared the “cultural capital of the Islamic world”, adding that the decision was a manifestation of the great support of the entire Muslim world for Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev emphasized with pleasure that ceremonial events would be held in Shusha next month.

Mohamed Abdelsalam conveyed the greetings from His Eminence Ahmed El-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, to the head of state.

President Ilham Aliyev expressed his gratitude for the greetings and asked Mohamed Abdelsalam to pass on his greetings to His Eminence Ahmed El-Tayeb.

Mohamed Abdelsalam emphasized that His Eminence Ahmed El-Tayeb highly appreciates the efforts of President Ilham Aliyev towards the establishment of peace. He noted that the calls for peace of the President of war-free Azerbaijan were amazing, and it was no coincidence that the Muslim Council of Elders issued a statement after the initiative of President Ilham Aliyev in the direction of the exchange of detained persons and the establishment of peace.

The President of Azerbaijan said that although Azerbaijan had been faced with occupation and military aggression of Armenia for more than 28 years, it was his country that took the initiative towards a peace agreement in order to normalize relations with Armenia and ensure a lasting peace in the South Caucasus after the 44-day Patriotic War. President Ilham Aliyev emphasized that during the occupation, material and cultural sites of Azerbaijan, including places of worship related to the Muslim religion, had been destroyed by Armenia. A total of 65 out of 67 mosques in these territories were razed to the ground. The head of state noted that Azerbaijan was carrying out restoration and construction work in the territories liberated from occupation.

Noting that a religious pavilion for climate action had been organized at COP28 and more than 4,000 people had visited it, the Secretary-General noted that with the direct support of His Eminence Ahmed El-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and his cooperation with the Pope, an event had been held within COP28 with the participation of more than 30 religious leaders of the world. At the end of the event, religious leaders had signed a statement called “The Call of Conscience” to prevent global climate change. He said that the intention was to hold such an event in cooperation with Azerbaijan as a host country of COP29.

President Ilham Aliyev emphasized that Azerbaijan was playing an important role in promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue and touched on the prestigious events held in Baku in this regard. The head of state announced that the Intercultural Dialogue Forum would be held in Azerbaijan again soon with the support of ICESCO, UNESCO and the UN Alliance of Civilizations. President Ilham Aliyev stressed that Azerbaijan was ready to support the promotion of interreligious dialogue within the framework of COP29 and, as an example of this, host a meeting of world religious leaders and cooperate in this field.

During the conversation, the sides stressed the importance of inter-confessional dialogue in the Muslim world, citing Azerbaijan’s experience as a successful example.

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