To participants of the 2nd International Symposium "Islamic Civilization in the Caucasus"

11 july 2019, 14:35

Dear participants of the Symposium!

I am glad to greet you in the capital of our country, the city of Baku, convey my most sincere wishes to every one of you.

Over the last 1,400 years of the history of the Caucasus, which, due to its cultural and ethnic diversity and natural and geographical wealth is one of the unique corners of the world, is associated with the Islamic religion. The numerous examples of material and non-material culture relating to this religion in Azerbaijan, as well as various regions of the Caucasus, testify to the deep roots of Islamic civilization in the region. Today, the basis of the culture of many peoples living in the Caucasus is formed by Islamic values.

Islam began to spread in Azerbaijan from the middle of the 7th century, and our country turned into one of the cultural and historical centers of Islamic civilization. For centuries, our people has given the history of the universal human thought great personalities. World-famous Azerbaijani scientists and thinkers, the geniuses of word and art have made exceptional contributions to the development of Islamic culture.

As was historically the case, Azerbaijan attaches particular importance to the preservation of Islamic values. The International Symposium “Islamic Civilization in the Caucasus” held in Baku on 9-11 December 1998 at the initiative of great leader Heydar Aliyev was a good example of our people’s attachment to their historical past and national and spiritual values.

The announcement of 2017 in the Republic of Azerbaijan as a “Year of Islamic Solidarity” and the hosting of the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games in our country should be viewed as a call for peace and solidarity in our troubled world today. At present, when Islamophobia has gained momentum in some countries, we will continue our consistent efforts to promote universal Islamic values that call people for unity, equality, peace and tolerance, as well as initiatives aimed at intercultural dialogue and cooperation.

I am confident that the Second International Symposium "Islamic Civilization in the Caucasus" will be held in an atmosphere of interesting and constructive discussions and make a fresh contribution to the study of the historical place and role of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus as a whole in the development of Islamic civilization. I wish your meeting every success.

Ilham Aliyev

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Baku, 10 July, 2019