Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade

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Top cleric of Azerbaijan. Visited Armenia in November, 2011.

The top religious leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia have called for a withdrawal of snipers from Karabakh frontlines as a means to stop bloodshed amid more reported casualties in the conflict zone. Russia’s Patriarch Kirill made a joint statement with Catholicos Karekin II, the supreme head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and Azerbaijan’s top Shia Muslim leader Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade at the end of a trilateral meeting in Yerevan held as part of a summit of top clerics from post-Soviet countries.

The president's press office reported that Sarkisian received Pashazade and Karekin at his office and welcomed the assistance of the two in the matter of finding a solution through dialogue.)

In his remarks at the summit referring to conflicts, Pashazade said that “millions of people have to live as refugees” in the former Soviet space, including in the Caucasus.

“We fully support the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group and the presidents of our states. At the same time, we have to say that, unfortunately, until today the United Nations Security Council resolutions [on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict] have not been fulfilled and the longstanding efforts of the Minsk Group co-chairs have not yielded tangible results,” said Pashazade.

The religious leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia already issued a joint declaration in April 2010 when the Armenian pontiff paid a landmark visit to Baku to attend a summit of religious leaders from around the world. Then, they, too, voiced support for the long-running efforts to resolve the Karabakh conflict and condemned “acts of vandalism” committed in the conflict zone.

Armenian Catholicos, Caucasian Muslims' leader to meet on Contact Line in 2012, Armenia Jan 4 2012

19:01 - 04.01.12

Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II may meet the chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office, Allahshukur Pashazade, on the Contact Line between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan later this year, according to Haji Sabir Hasanli, the deputy chairman of the Office.

Speaking to the Azerbaijani news website, Hasanli said the Caucasian Muslims' leader had proposed organizing the meeting his recent visit to Armenia.

`The Armenian side has accepted the proposal, but the meeting date was not fixed. It may take place by the end of the year,' he said, adding that such meetings will be useful in terms of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Hasanli recalled that the meeting between Pashazade, Garegin II, and Russian Patriarch Kiril II was held in Armenia late in 2011.

`It is necessary to recall the snipers from the Contact Line between the Armenian and Azerbaijani armed troops. That will reduce the number of victims,' he explained.

Pazshazade visited Yerevan on November 29, 2012 to attend the CIS Interfaith Council's Session.

On the sidelines of the closed-door meeting, he met with the Russian and Armenian patriarchs. The three religious leaders then issued a joint statement, calling for the withdrawal of snipers from the Contact Line.

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