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 Tuesday, September 12 2017 14:21
Marianna Mkrtchyan

French Ambassador: The initiative of the Patriarch of All Russia to organize a meeting of spiritual leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan is a brilliant idea

French Ambassador: The initiative of the Patriarch of All Russia to organize a meeting of spiritual leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan is a brilliant idea

ArmInfo. The initiative of the Patriarch of All Russia Kirill to organize a meeting of the spiritual leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan is a brilliant idea that can contribute to the process of settling the Karabakh conflict. French Ambassador to Armenia Jean-Francois Charpentier stated this in Yerevan on September 12, referring to the meeting of spiritual leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia in Moscow. "The position of France is this: everything that is aimed at dialogue between the parties, whether meetings at the level of heads of state, or spiritual leaders, or societies - is acceptable. The more such meetings, the more useful the negotiation process, "said the French diplomat. Touching upon the trilateral meeting of spiritual leaders in Moscow, Charpentier noted that the message of spiritual leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan is very important, which is that the Karabakh problem is not a religious conflict. According to him, it is important that spiritual leaders emphasized this and stressed the importance of settling the conflict through negotiations, rather than weapons. Referring to the observation that there is an impression that Russia is trying to seize the initiative in the conflict settlement, Charpentier  noted that the OSCE Minsk Group's work style differs from other formats.  "Despite the fact that the countries of the mediators have disagreements on a number of issues, the sides have no contradictions on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement. 

This time the meeting was initiated in Russia, next time in another place. It's not that important. It is important to put the question on the right track for the continuation of the dialogue, "concluded the French diplomat. It should be noted that on September 8 a meeting of the spiritual leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan Garegin II, Cyril and Allahshukur Pashazade was held in Moscow dedicated to the Karabakh settlement. The meeting was initiated by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. Following the meeting, the parties adopted a joint statement. In particular, the document reads: "Today we, the spiritual leaders of the Azerbaijani and Armenian peoples, met again in Moscow at the invitation of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to discuss the ways of peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, without which it is impossible to reach agreement and security on The Caucasus.  We attach special importance to the consistent development of the peacekeeping dialogue, the continuation of the negotiations and the mediation efforts of the international community that will help achieve a comprehensive settlement of the conflict. Are we convinced that it is possible to overcome disagreements based on the principles of good neighborliness and moral values preached by traditional religions? the value of good, love of neighbor, mutual forgiveness and mercy.

The Armenian and Azerbaijani peoples will always live side by side, so there is no other perspective, except peace and cooperation. In the face of numerous challenges, we, the spiritual leaders of our peoples, are obliged to seek joint answers. We pray for the preservation of peace and the speedy resolution of all humanitarian problems related to the conflict, and we call on the political and public figures of our peoples to do this. Together we are called upon to take care of the suffering and destitute, to testify to the eternal spiritual and moral values, to seek peaceful and just ways to resolve contradictions. It is extremely important to abandon the militant and hostile rhetoric. We appeal to those on whom this depends, with an appeal to facilitate the release of all civilians who did not participate in hostilities and were taken prisoner.  We, as religious leaders, are called upon to protect churches, mosques and other shrines. Therefore, it is very important to ensure the inviolability of religious monuments and respect for them. We call upon our peoples to educate young people in the spirit of goodwill and mutual respect, peace and traditional morality. For our part, we express our readiness to support peacekeeping initiatives to resolve the Nagorno- Karabakh conflict. The history of the tripartite meetings of spiritual leaders testifies to the positive impact of such contacts on the course of the settlement of the conflict, which should never develop into a religious confrontation.

We cherish the ardent hope for the success of the negotiation process. We are ready to use all available opportunities for the sake of peace in the region. "The peacekeeping efforts of the Moscow Patriarchate on the Nagorno-Karabakh problem were initiated in 1988. The first tripartite peacekeeping meeting of the heads of the three religious communities was held in May 1993 in the Moscow Danilov Monastery.  Previous tripartite meetings of religious leaders of Russia and Transcaucasia took place within the framework of interreligious forums in 2010 in Baku and 2011 in Yerevan.

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