BAKU: Azeri, Iranian chief clerics discuss Karabakh, mutual ties

Azeri, Iranian chief clerics discuss Karabakh, mutual ties

Azadliq, Baku
23 Jun 04

“I hope your visit will give an impetus to the further strengthening
of Azerbaijani-Iranian relations,” the head of the Azerbaijani
Spiritual Board of the Muslims of the Caucasus, Allahsukur Pasazada,
said at a meeting with Ayatollah Golpayegani, head of the executive
staff of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamene’i.

Saying that religion brings the Azerbaijani and Iranian peoples
closer, Pasazada expressed the hope that it will also enable the two
states to further strengthen political relations. Pasazada talked
about the Nagornyy Karabakh problem and called on official Tehran to
help Azerbaijan generously in this issue. Pasazada touched on the
religious situation and stressed religious tolerance in Azerbaijan. He
said that various religions and faiths were being practised
simultaneously in the country, and spiritual leaders state that their
main aim is to maintain religious stability in the region.

Ayatollah Golpayegani reiterated recent serious progress in
Iranian-Azerbaijani relations and expressed his confidence that these
relations will develop in the future as well. As far as the Karabakh
problem is concerned, Golpayegani said that Armenia had been described
as an aggressor by the Organization of the Islamic Conference which
unites both Iran and Azerbaijan.

[Passage omitted: the guests were given presents]