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Statement of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and&n…

Statement of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on the results of the trilateral meeting of the religious leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia

On October 13, 2021, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met at the St. Daniel Monastery in Moscow with Chairman of the Muslim Board of the Caucasus Sheikh ul-Islam Allakhshukur Pashazade and Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II. The religious leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan arrived in the Russian capital city at the invitation of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church to discuss ways of settling the conflict generated by the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh. Summing up the meeting, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill read out the following statement.

We have just completed a trilateral meeting of the religious leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, which continues the over 30 years-long tradition of peace-making negotiations through the mediation of the primates of the Russian Orthodox Church.

I thank the esteemed Patriarch-Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II and Chairman of the Muslim Board of the Caucasus Sheikh ul-Islam Allakhshukur Pashazade for their readiness to meet and discuss face to face the complicated problems so disturbing for the people and religious communities of the two nations fraternal for us.

We are convinced that our religions have a unique peace-making potential, especially in such a delicate and sensitive sphere as inter-ethnic relations. However complicated the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations may be at the present stage, we believe that it is the faith in God and love that can help heal the wounds inflicted by the long-standing tragic confrontation. It is a very difficult path; it requires spiritual wisdom and insight.

The Caucasus has always been famous for a great diversity of peoples, languages and cultures. For the Azerbaijani and Armenian nations, there is no other future than co-existence. Today it is especially important for people to trust each other, to learn again to perceive a neighbour with respect and readiness for mutual aid.

The guarantee of such attitude is respect to holy places, historical monuments and cemeteries, respect for the religious feelings of the people of a different faith and the careful preservation of the memory of the dead. Religious leaders are called to use their authority to build and maintain an atmosphere of good-neighbourliness among religions and peoples.

We call to clarify the fate of missing people, to contribute to the process of liberating prisoners of war and to prevent the unlawful use of weapons threatening the life of peaceful citizens.

In the future, it is necessary to try to do all we can to avoid hate speech, to restrain from calls to military actions in the conflict zone. We call upon the youth not to yield to the spirit of aggression and radicalism, to seek peace above all. 

The religious leaders are ready to assist in the reconciliation of the peoples of Azerbaijan and Armenia for the good and prosperity of the present and future generations.

The Russian Orthodox Church, on her part, is praying for the reconciliation of the two nations so close to her and is ready to continue helping in all possible ways to establish a lasting peace with justice in the South Caucasus.

*** 

The peace-making efforts of the Moscow Patriarchate for the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh were initiated in 1988. The first trilateral peace-making meeting of the heads of the three religious communities was held in May 1993 at the St. Daniel Monastery in Moscow. The previous trilateral meetings of the religious leaders of Russia and Transcaucasia took place as parts of the interreligious forums in 2010 in Baku and 2011 in Yerevan, as well as in 2017 in the St. Daniel Monastery in Moscow.

 

DECR Communication Service

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