By removing the religious factor from the Karabakh conflict, we have, of course, significantly reduced the possible degree of this conflict, with the ensuing consequences. Kirill, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, stated this in an interview with Russia TV, news.am reports.
Patriarch of All Russia urges not to ignore religious leaders’ role in Karabakh conflict settlement
STEPANAKERT, JANUARY 7, ARTSAKHPRESS: "I hope that there will be peace, and I am based on the positions of the church and religious authorities of Armenia as well as Karabakh and Azerbaijan. You know that the Russian Church has initiated a discussion of the Karabakh issue with the participation of the Catholicos of All Armenians and the Supreme Mufti, the Supreme Muslim Leader of Azerbaijan, Pashazade. We have held several rounds of such talks and agreed on many issues. And I believe the main result of these talks is that the two religious leaders, who are backed by the majority of the people, talked to each other, and this conversation was very calm in the sense that there were no accusations, no tension. (…). This has never happened before, and this was because the religious leaders themselves bear full responsibility for the spiritual condition of their people.
Therefore, the role of religious leaders is important; we do not exaggerate, but we do not underestimate it either. In the end, very clear results were achieved during these negotiations: the exchange of captives, the non-use of religious symbols, religious expressions, religious motivation to inspire the warring parties. By removing the religious factor from this confrontation, we have, of course, significantly reduced the possible degree of this conflict, with the ensuing consequences. Therefore, without exaggerating the role of religious leaders, it should not be ignored in any way.
The Russian Church is also ready to participate in this process in order to have its peacekeeping contribution to the solution of a very difficult problem, which, unfortunately, could be stopped at the moment only with the presence of Russian peacekeepers." Patriarch Kirill added.
On November 9, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a joint statement on a complete cessation of hostilities—which Azerbaijan had launched on September 27—in and around Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). Accordingly, Russian peacekeepers are deployed in the region to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire and the cessation of hostilities.