PACE Monitoring Committee co-rapporteurs informed of tolerance in Azerbaijan

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Baku, June 17, AZERTAC

Co-rapporteurs of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Cezar Florin Preda and Stefan Schennach have been informed of tolerance reigning in Azerbaijan as they met with chairman of the State Committee for Work with Religious Associations Mubariz Gurbanli.

Gurbanli said state-religion relations in Azerbaijan were regulated by the Constitution and law “On freedom of religion”. He described religious situation in Azerbaijan as stable, adding that representatives of various religions in the country enjoyed freedom and mutual understanding. He said Azerbaijan was a role model of tolerance and multiculturalism for other countries. “Everybody can freely practice his religious rituals without any religious and sectarian discrimination.” “People can freely go to mosques, synagogues and churches,” said Gurbanli, adding that the Azerbaijani government was funding repair and restoration of places of worship of different religions. “There are 13 churches (Orthodox, Albanian-Udi and Catholic), 7 synagogues and 4 Georgian churches in Azerbaijan. Despite Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan, an Armenian church has been preserved in Baku.”

Gurbanli highlighted the government’s measures to prevent and combat radicalism and extremism.

He also touched upon Azerbaijan-Council of Europe relations, describing them as “close”. He said the country was fulfilling its obligations of the Council of Europe and was one of active members of the organization.

Co-rapporteur Stefan Schennach said Azerbaijan was a tolerant country. He also hailed Azerbaijan-Council of Europe ties.

Cezar Florin Preda described religious situation in Azerbaijan as normal.

Gurbanli handed “Selected Islamic Monuments of Azerbaijan” book to the co-rapporteurs.

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