Developing relations with Arab states - priority for Azerbaijan's foreign policy
    President Aliyev in a meeting with sheikh of al-Azhar / PHOTO

    CHRONICLE  09 June 2024 - 09:15

    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met with Ahmed Mohamed Ahmed El-Tayeb, Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar al-Sharif in Cairo on June 8.

    President Ilham Aliyev expressed his pleasure to visit Al-Azhar for the second time and to meet Sheikh of al-Azhar al-Sharif, grand imam Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed El-Tayeb during his official visit to Egypt, Azertag reports.

    The head of state noted the strong Azerbaijan-Egypt relations and historical ties between the two countries, emphasizing that developing relations with Arab states is a priority for Azerbaijan's foreign policy.

    President Ilham Aliyev noted that Azerbaijan hosts significant events to promote dialogue among religions, cultures, and civilizations, thus, contributing to interfaith dialogue. He invited grand imam Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed El-Tayeb to visit Azerbaijan.

    The President highlighted that Azerbaijan would host COP29 this year and proposed holding the next meeting of religious leaders in cooperation with Al-Azhar within the COP29 framework.

    The President reminded that Azerbaijani territories were under occupation for nearly thirty years, during which Islamic material and cultural monuments including 65 out of 67 mosques were totally destroyed. He expressed regret that a political resolution to the conflict was not possible and noted that Azerbaijan exercised its right to self-defense, ending the occupation and restoring its territorial integrity and sovereignty. President Ilham Aliyev mentioned the ongoing efforts to restore mosques and Islamic heritage in the liberated areas, with five mosques already restored. He emphasized Azerbaijan's contribution to Islamic solidarity and continued efforts in this direction in cooperation with brotherly Muslim countries.

    The President of Azerbaijan underlined the importance of declaring the city of Shusha as the capital of Islamic culture and the events held in Shusha in this context. The head of state also said that 16 out of 17 mosques in Shusha had been completely destroyed during the occupation.

    The Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar al-Sharif expressed his gratitude to the head of state for this visit, and noted that the relations between Egypt and Azerbaijan are at a very good level. He hailed Azerbaijan’s fully ensuring its territorial integrity and sovereignty. Expressing his appreciation for the invitation to COP29, Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed El-Tayeb mentioned that he would be pleased to participate in this event.

    Recalling that the 2nd Summit of World Religious Leaders was held in Baku, the Sheikh of al-Azhar al-Sharif personally thanked President Ilham Aliyev for Azerbaijan’s contributions to the Islamic solidarity, and underscored the ongoing joint efforts to hold a meeting of religious leaders within the framework of COP29.

    He emphasized that al-Azhar al-Sharif is ready to support Azerbaijan in teaching the Arabic language, adding that Azerbaijani students also study at al-Azhar.

    Expressing his gratitude for the intention to support the teaching of the Arabic language in Azerbaijan, President Ilham Aliyev emphasized that historically, great attention had been paid to the study and teaching of the Arabic language and Islamic culture in the country. President Ilham Aliyev highlighted the existence of the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Baku State University and the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences.


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