Religious Leaders Urge End to Sniper Attacks

YEREVAN—In a statement issued on Mon., Nov. 28, the leaders of the Russian and Armenian churches joined the leader of the Caucasus Muslims in calling for an end to sniper attacks on the Karabagh-Azerbaijan border, ahead of an upcoming conference by the Inter-Religious Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The religious leaders

“We strongly urge the leaders of the two countries to pull back the snipers from the line of contact to avoid bloodshed at the border and human losses,” read the joint declaration signed by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia; His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians; and the Leader of Caucasus Muslims Sheikh-Ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade.

“The three parties express their commitment to the peaceful resolution of the Karabagh conflict and declare that a resolution is possible only within the framework of international law. In that regard we support the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group,” it read.

“We attach importance to the regime of non-use of force, which inspires people with optimism regarding the final resolution of the Karabagh issue.”

“If the bloodshed ends, the psychological situation will change, and this will make the resolution of the conflict easier,” said the religious leaders in the declaration.

Speaking at the CIS Inter-Religious Council meeting, Armenian President Serge Sarkisian said the destruction of historic and religious monuments, under the guise of conflict, is unacceptable.

“The conflict is not a religious one, and all attempts to ascribe a religious nature to it are unconstructive. The two great religions—Christianity and Islam—should not be allowed to confront each other,” Sarkisian said.

“The CIS Inter-Religious Council is a unique collective force, which symbolizes the power of peaceful co-existence of different religions, their tolerance and reciprocal respect for each other,” he added.

“Armenia has made an historic and irreversible decision to develop in the spirit of cooperation with its neighbors, friends, and all humanity. We consider that all issues should be resolved through negotiations and cooperation, not threats and increase of tension. We have always been ready to offer our friendship, even not being sure we would get a positive response. No doubt, the disappointment after such a serious decision can be despairing.”

“You know that the conflict of Nagorno-Karabagh is our great pain,” he explained. “The only realistic solution is the negotiation process within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. Armenia will steadily move along that path, since the alternative to it will benefit neither us, nor the neighboring nation.”

Sarkisian stressed that negotiation on such a serious and complex issue requires patience and adherence to principles. He also welcomed the dialogue between Karekin II and Pashazade, which is being mediated by Kirill.

Pashazade also echoed Sarkisian’s sentiments, saying that “the dialogue should continue, although the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group have not produced results.”

“The efforts toward the peaceful resolution of the Karabagh conflict should continue both on regional and international levels. We fully support the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and the presidents of our countries in that direction,” Pashazade said.

Kirill also voiced his confidence that the meeting of the religious leaders will reinforce friendly ties between members of the Inter-Religious Council.


  1. I wonder why Sheikh left his holy stick in Mr. Aliyev’s pocket!! Seems to me he is out of balance, and empty handed!!

  2. I assume then your holdy Leader for Hatred of all Turks has his stick with him, not in Sargysyans empty pocket.

    Sheikh-Ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade is the Leader of Caucasus Muslims?
    I don’t think so – most of them are Sunni and Azerbaijan Sultanate is attacking them closing down their mosques.  Even Azeri Turks call this former KGB colonel “Sheitanshukur” as he controls such monopolies in Azerbaijan as prostitution, metal imports, and casinos.  He also owns a chain of bookstores in Russia where they sell terrorist literature.

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