President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received the head of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
The head of the state extended a warm welcome to Justin Welby and emphasized the significance of his visit.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, in his capacity as the leader of the Anglican Communion, offered his congratulations to President Ilham Aliyev on the centenary celebration of the birth of the National Leader Heydar Aliyev. He underscored the pivotal role played by Azerbaijan in promoting multiculturalism and interfaith dialogue, delved into the relations between the Vatican and Azerbaijan, and commended Azerbaijan's efforts in the restoration of the catacombs in the Vatican.
Discussing the challenges faced by Azerbaijan during its initial years of independence, the head of the state recounted the circumstances wherein 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory was occupied, leading to over a million Azerbaijani citizens becoming refugees and internally displaced persons. This period was marked by a socio-political crisis, economic hardships, and internal instability.
President Ilham Aliyev reiterated that Azerbaijan had offered a peace treaty initiative, highlighting the historic opportunities that had emerged for advancing the peace agenda in the region. He also touched upon Azerbaijan's ongoing endeavors in this regard.
The President of Azerbaijan emphasized the substantial humanitarian assistance provided by central authorities to Armenian residents in the Karabakh region following the cessation of counterterrorism measures. He highlighted the provision of migration services, social protection, and healthcare to the local population.
Furthermore, the head of state pointed out that the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan had issued a public statement addressing the rights and security of Armenian residents in Karabakh.
President Ilham Aliyev expressed hope that the forthcoming meeting in Granada, Spain, would stimulate the development of the peace agenda in the region. In this context, Justin Welby emphasized the significance of building trust and promoting ethnic reconciliation in the post-conflict period, offering his willingness to share his expertise on this matter.
The role of ethnic reconciliation and civil society organizations was noted during the conversation.