Fr. Shahe Ananyan, Director of the Inter-Church relations Department of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, commented, in an interview with Armenpress, on the false announcements made by the Grand Mufti of Azerbaijan, Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims’ Board Allahshukur Pashazadeh, as well as spoke about a possible meeting between the Catholicos of All Armenians, the Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims’ Board, and the Patriarch of All Russia.
How would you comment on the statements of Allahshukur Pashazadeh, the chairman of the Caucasus Muslims’ Board, made in Shushi [city of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)] about the [city’s] St. Ghazanchetsots [Armenian] Church that it's allegedly of non-Armenian origin?
We learned from the media about the yet another false announcements made by Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims’ Board Allahshukur Pashazadeh before the representatives of various religious denominations of Azerbaijan… What can we say? It is a style typical of Pashazadeh, to interpret facts according to their own interests and perceptions. Avoiding making judgments about the occupation of the most part of the territory of Artsakh, leaving thousands of families without shelters, desecration and destructions of religious-cultural values of the Artsakh Diocese [of the Armenian Apostolic Church], Pashazadeh again referred to the so-called Aghvan-Udi church [i.e., Caucasian Albania] and its false agenda of religious-cultural values.
It’s known that there is an official format of trilateral meetings between the Catholicos of All Armenians, the Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims’ Board, and the Patriarch of All Russia, in the sidelines of which a declaration also has been signed on the peaceful settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Does that format still exist? Is it possible that new meetings and discussions are held in that format?
There is an official format of trilateral meetings between the Catholicos of All Armenians, the Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims’ Board, and the Patriarch of All Russia, where the religious leaders have discussed the opportunities of finding ways for a peaceful settlement of the Artsakh conflict, and naturally, many other issues related with it, too. Still during the military operations [last year in Artsakh] the Catholicos of All Armenians had sent a separate letter to Patriarch Kirill [of Russia], expressing his readiness to meet with the leader of the Caucasus Muslims in a trilateral format aimed at fostering the restoration of the ceasefire and regional peace.
After the 44-day war, the Catholicos of All Armenians had sent an official letter to Patriarch Kirill, so that he could leave for Baku—under Patriarch Kirill’s mediation—to meet with Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev and Pashazadeh for discussing the issues of returning the Armenian POWs, as well as the preservation of our religious-cultural heritage in the territories that have passed under the Azerbaijani control.
As for the statement of the Sheikh ul-Islam [Allahshukur Pashazadeh] about his willingness to meet under the UN auspices, this is a result of misunderstanding. The Catholicos of All Armenians answered to the proposal of the UN representative in the USA about meeting with the Azerbaijani Sheikh [Pashazadeh] that [Patriarch] Kirill has already agreed to hold such a meeting in Moscow.