Promoting Shi’ism ‘would secure public support’ for Azeri govt.

TEHRAN, Feb. 23 (MNA) – Leader of the Islamic Revolution has told Ilham Aliyev of Republic of Azerbaijan Islam will bolster the government of Azerbaijan against foreign threats if it receives due promotion in return.

Ayatollah Khamenei received President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday. Mr. Aliyev is visiting Tehran for meetings with Islamic Republic of Iran’s government officials. Leader believed that Iran’s view of Azerbaijani people was far beyond simple neighborhood and friendship; rather, “we see the people of Azerbaijan even closer for our common cultural and historical ties.”

“Promoting Islamic traditions would create a strong barrier against threats, either domestic or foreign, since people in Azerbaijan naturally welcome Islam in both Shia and Sunni denominations; we believe security, welfare, and stability of people in Republic of Azerbaijan are important for us and constitute a priority in foreign policy of Iran toward the Caucasus,” the Leader told Aliyev.

“Shia in particular and Islamic beliefs in general provide the country with invaluable assets which would secure the government rule should it receive due attention and respect; Azerbaijan has been historically the home for great Islamic thinkers and the religion has been deeply rooted in local traditions; fighting extremist readings of the Scriptures should be a part and parcel of any religious community including those in Azerbaijan,” he emphasized.

Ilham Aliyev who was accompanied by President Rouhani in the meeting, said that Iran and his country had enjoyed closer ties and that relations with Iran was important for foreign policy of the Republic of Azerbaijan; “common history, religion, and culture have been connecting Iran and Azerbaijan through the history,” said Mr. Aliyev. “In terms of trade, we succeeded in signing more than 10 MoUs of cooperation; we took important steps in energy, trade, transportation, and industry as major fields of cooperation. We will work to improve the ties even further.”

“Iran and Republic of Azerbaijan have developed common positions in most international issues; Iran plays a great role in establishing peace and stability in the region and the world and we feel Iran’s security will guarantee security in our own native Azerbaijan,” Aliyev told the meeting. “Threats against both countries have a common origin.”

“We have respected religious and especially Islamic values; the Republic of Azerbaijan condemns anti-Islamic sentiments pitted against our people for their religion. Shi’ism is by far the most popular denomination among our people and your spiritual support and inspiration would bestow huge amount of energy to the region as well,” he told the Leader.




News Code 114703


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