The Azerbaijan State News Agency

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‘Azerbaijan has historically been a land of tolerance’

Baku, February 10, AZERTAC

“Azerbaijan has historically been a land of tolerance. Traditions of religious tolerance existing in the country should be an example for all nations,” said Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher as he met with Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Office Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade.

Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade noted that Azerbaijan, known as one of the exemplary models of the secular state in the Islamic world, has contributed to the process of building unity in the world. He said that ethnic and religious diversity are great assets of Azerbaijan.

Pashazade also mentioned that by the order of President Ilham Aliyev, 2016 was declared as the year of Multiculturalism and 2017 as the year of the Islamic Solidarity in Azerbaijan.

Touching upon the Azerbaijan-Vatican relations, the chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Office emphasized that these relations, laid down by national leader Heydar Aliyev are today at the high level as a result of successful policy pursued by President Ilham Aliyev. “The significant achievements have been made in humanitarian relations with the Vatican thanks to the activity of First Vice-President of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva,” he added.

Saying this is his first visit to Azerbaijan, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher thanked the head of state for the high hospitality shown to them.

Hailing the promotion of the Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Church's Apostolic Prefecture in Azerbaijan Vladimir Fekete to the bishop's rank under the order of Pope Francis, Archbishop Gallagher described this as manifestation of the importance the Pope attaches to the Catholic community in Azerbaijan and relations with the country.

In their remarks, Archbishop of Baku and Azerbaijan Eparchy Alexander Ishein, Chairman of the Religious Community of Mountain Jews in Baku Milikh Yevdayev and the Ordinary of the Apostolic Prefecture of the Roman Catholic Church in Azerbaijan Vladimir Fekete praised the high level of religious tolerance in Azerbaijan.

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