By Rashid Shirinov
Armenia occupied the Azerbaijani territories and inflicted heavy damage to the country’s material cultural and spiritual heritage, Mubariz Gurbanli, Chairman of Azerbaijan’s State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations said on January 30.
He made the remark at a meeting with Portuguese MP, Chair of the Twelve Plus Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Duarte Pacheco.
Gurbanli informed the guest about the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Since the beginning of the conflict and occupation of Azerbaijani territories, the Armenian aggressors destroyed 1,200 historical and architectural monuments, looted 27 museums, while over 100,000 items were exported to Armenia. Moreover, the Armenian occupiers destroyed 152 religious monuments and 62 mosques, 4.6 million books in 927 libraries, including the Holy Quran and rare Islamic manuscripts.
During the meeting, Gurbanli informed his interlocutor about the tolerance, interreligious dialogue and traditions of multiculturalism existing in Azerbaijan.
He said that the relations between the state and religion in Azerbaijan have always been aimed at preserving and developing the traditions of mutual respect and tolerance established by the Azerbaijani people.
Azerbaijan has developed an exemplary model of multiculturalism and pays special attention to preservation and further development of historical and cultural heritage. Solidarity and friendship are observed among all religious confessions in Azerbaijan. Muslims, Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Jews and members of other religious communities co-exist in unique friendship, brotherhood conditions in Azerbaijan and enjoy state care and attention.
Having informed Pacheco about the activities of the State Committee, Gurbanli said that the struggle carried out in the country against religious radicalism in the administrative, economic and ideological fields already yields results.
The sides also noted good prospects for cooperation between Azerbaijan and Portugal in this field.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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