President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin presents the “Pushkin” Medal to Leyla Aliyeva
On November 22, an exhibition entitled “Azerbaijan – A Space of Tolerance” reflecting our country’s religious tolerance opened at the Azerbaijan Cultural Centre in Paris, following the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and with organizational support from the State Committee of Azerbaijan for Works with Religious Entities.
Azerbaijan’s First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva and the Foundation’s Vice-president Leyla Aliyeva attended the exhibition.
Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to France Elchin Amirbeyov noted that author of the photos Reza Deghati is a great friend of both Azerbaijan and France.
Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva addressed the ceremony. She noted that the fact that people of different religious and ethnic relationship have centuries long lived in Azerbaijan in a peaceful environment prompted the formation of a unique model of a tolerant society built on strong and sound foundation and based on mutual respect.
Leyla Aliyeva said multiculturism, respect for ethnic and religious minorities has been a national peculiarity of the people of Azerbaijan: “The demonstration here today of a photo exhibition showing the intercultural and religious tolerance in our country is an obvious example of the consistent policy pursued by the state of Azerbaijan towards preserving this national peculiarity, developing it further and promotion in the world.”
French Senate’s Caucasus-Azerbaijan Friendship Group’s member Jean-Marie Bockel too talked about the tolerance existing in Azerbaijan: “As opposed to some European states trying to exclude multiculturalism from political turnover, Azerbaijan, which could manage to turn religious and cultural tolerance into a state policy, should be applauded for these achievements.”
The senator mentioned his recent trip to Azerbaijan and visit to Ganja. He noted that representatives of different nationalities are living in a friendly and peaceful environment, and that the tolerant environment in Azerbaijan may be an example for other countries. Jean-Marie Bockel emphasized the importance of tolerance in building relations between people.
ISESCO Director General Dr.Abdulasis Othman Al-Twaijri said after regaining its independence Azerbaijan rapidly developed and achieved creation of a unique harmony of cultural and religious diversity that has been formed in this country for centuries: “Just from this aspect Azerbaijan may be an example for a number of countries, especially the states of the Islamic geography.”
The Director General touched also upon the Daghlyg Garabagh conflict, and called the occupation of the country’s territory as an intolerable fact for the civilized world.
Author of photos being displayed at the exhibition, one of the world-renowned photographerswho lives in Paris, of Azerbaijani descent Reza Deghati too underlined that the environment of tolerance he has come across in Azerbaijan was one of the unique models existing in the world, and thanked the Heydar Aliyev Foundation for the support provided to this initiative.
The exhibition was attended by 500 guests consisting of state and government officials of France, the UNESCO Director General, the Mayor of the 7th Region of Paris, senators, deputies, well-known persons of art, representative of French general public and employees of the diplomatic corps accredited in this country.