By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijani Ambassador to Morocco Oktay Gurbanov has met with ICESCO Director General Salim M. AlMalik to discuss ICESCO's initiative to declare Shusha Asian region's Capital of Islamic Culture next year.
In his speech, Salim M. AlMalik noted that ICESCO will take all necessary measures to implement this important initiative at a high level.
At the same time, a delegation of technical experts will visit Azerbaijan's liberated territories to identify Islamic heritage monuments and include them in the Islamic World Heritage List.
The members of the delegation will work with the relevant structures of Azerbaijan on a draft plan for the restoration of historical monuments.
In January, ICESCO Director-General Salim bin Mohammed AlMalik visited Fuzuli region to witness the consequences of Armenian vandalism.
Hundreds of cultural institutions, including 927 libraries with 4.6 million books, 808 palaces of culture, clubs and other cultural institutions, 85 music and art schools were destroyed by Armenian occupants.
The ICESCO delegation first inspected the ruins of Fuzuli and saw traces of Armenian vandalism in the city cemetery.
During the inspection of the destroyed Juma Mosque, it was revealed that Armenians kept cattle and pigs there, as in other mosques.
The ICESCO delegation then visited the ancient caravanserais and the remains of a 17th-century mosque in the village of Gargabazari, as well as the ruins of a destroyed mosque in the village of Gochahmadli.
The sides also exchanged views on other projects implemented by Azerbaijan and ICESCO in the fields of science, education and culture.
Azerbaijan and ICESCO have been enjoying successful partnership in education, culture and science since 1991.
These relations have entered into a new stage after Azerbaijani First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva was awarded as ICESCO Goodwill Ambassador on November 24, 2006.
Mehriban Aliyeva was honored for her services in the development of education and dialogue between civilizations.
The country also closely cooperates with various ICESCO organizations, including the Islamic Development Bank, the Islamic Conference of Parliamentary Union, etc.
Over the past years, Azerbaijan and ICESCO have built strong ties, based on common values.
The visit of the ICESCO delegation to Azerbaijan early in January was an important step in this direction. Moreover, ICESCO has proposed to declare Shusha as the capital of the Islamic world.
Azerbaijan implemented numerous international projects with ICESCO. Baku (2009) and Nakhchivan (2018) were named the Capital of Islamic Culture.
Azerbaijan's capital hosted the meeting of the ICESCO culture ministers in 2009. The 12th General Conference and the 36th meeting of the ICESCO Executive Board were held as well.
ICESCO is also one of the main partners of the Baku Process initiated by President Ilham Aliyev and adopted by the United Nations. The organization has been an official partner in the 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue held in 2011.
The organization will also assist Azerbaijan in the restoration of monuments destroyed as a result of Armenian aggression. Training courses will be organized for specialists in this field.
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