2021-10-13 00:00:00

Patriarch Kirill calls on Azerbaijan, Armenia to avoid language of hatred

Moscow, October 13, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has called on the administrations of Azerbaijan and Armenia to help with the release of prisoners and prevent the unauthorized use of weapons in Nagorno-Karabakh.

"We are calling for clarifying the fates of missing people, promoting the process of releasing prisoners of war, and preventing unauthorized use of weapons that pose a threat to the lives of civilians," the patriarch said in Moscow on Wednesday after meeting with Catholicos Karekin II of All Armenians and Caucasus Muslims Board Chairman Allahshukur Pasha-zade.

One should "do everything to avoid using the language of hatred" and refrain from making calls for military action in the conflict zone, he said, calling on young people "not to give in to the spirit of aggression and radicalism and to seek peace above all else."

The Caucasus has always been known for its ethnic, language, and cultural diversity, and "there is no other future than living together for the people of Azerbaijan and Armenia," the patriarch said. It is especially important now to restore people's trust in each other, "to again learn to respect your neighbor and be ready to help," he said.

This kind of attitude will guarantee respect for religious places, historical monuments, and cemeteries, respect for the religious sentiments of people of a different faith, and careful perpetuation of the memory of the dead, the patriarch said.

"No matter how difficult Armenian-Azerbaijani relations are at this point, we believe that faith in God and love can help heal the wounds inflicted by this lengthy tragic conflict," the patriarch said.

In closing, he said religious leaders are ready to promote the reconciliation of the peoples of Azerbaijan and Armenia, and the Russian Orthodox Church, for its part, is praying for the reconciliation of these two peoples close to it and will do everything for lasting and fair peace to come to the South Caucasus.