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His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with chairman of the Muslim Board of the Caucasus Shiekh-ul-Islam Allakhshuqur Pashazade

On October 12, 2021, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with the chairman of the Muslim Board of the Caucasus, Sheikh-ul-Islam Allakhshuqur Pashazade, at the patriarchal residence in St. Daniel Monastery in Moscow.

The meeting was attended by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate; Archimandrite Philaret (Bulekov), DECR vice-chairman; Rev. Dimitry Safonov, DECR secretary for interreligious relations: and Deacon Ilya Kashitsyn, a staff member of the DECR secretariat for interreligious relations.

From the Azerbaijani side, there were Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Russian Federation Polad Bulbul Oglu and members of the delegation accompanying the Sheikh-ul-Islam.

Welcoming Allakhshuqur Pashazade, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill noted, “We meet on a regular basis, and these meetings are always held in a good fraternal and trustful atmosphere. During this time, an atmosphere of real confidence in each other has been formed, as we have to discuss very difficult issues, which, while standing on the agenda of religious leaders and heads of religious communities, have a different dimension including a political one”.

According to Patriarch Kirill, if the point is the overcoming of a military conflict, then “the political factor is present and sometimes becomes even predominant”, thus making the negotiations even more complicated. “The advantage of religious leaders’ discussion on complicated problems is that we have a common basis - our faith in God, a system of moral values to which we are committed, certain decency and confidence in each other. This certainly creates a very favourable atmosphere, and even if difficult topics sometimes stand on the agenda of our negotiations we discuss them for common good and without any negative consequences”, the Patriarch said addressing his high guest.

For the odd thirty years of our acquaintance and contacts as two religious leader, “there have been not a single case or a single topic that would divide us or create a tension”, the Primate of the Russian Church testified. “Indeed, we have always found and I think will find a solution of the problems we discuss”, His Holiness added.

In June 2021, Archbishop Alexander of Baku and Azerbaijan died, about whom His Holiness said, “Being a hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, he very much loved Azerbaijan, considered it his Motherland, always defended the interests of Azerbaijan and was a faithful representative of our Church in various Christian, ecclesiastical and diplomatic circles”. In the course of the talk, the Patriarch gave a great value to the efforts of Azerbaijan in the development of interreligious dialogue.

The sides discussed various issues involved in cooperation in the field of peace-making and interreligious cooperation.

The two leaders expressed hope that the forthcoming tripartite meeting will be successful and fruitful. On October 13, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Supreme Patriarch-Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II and Chairman of the Muslim Board of the Caucasus Sheikh Allakhshuqur Pashazade will hold regular high-level negotiations on the settlement of the conflict in the South Caucasus.

In conclusion of the talk, the sides exchanged tokens of the meeting.

 

DECR Communication Service

Photo: Press Service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

 

 

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