To the international conference on "partnership for peace in the Caucasus" - July 17, 2002

Highly esteemed participants of the conference!

I cordially greet you, participants of the international conference in Tbilisi and wish you peace, good health, welfare and happiness.

Such a conference, jointly held by the Georgian Orthodox Church, Office of the Caucasian Muslims and the Georgian Centre of the Ethnic and Confessional Relations along with the Tbilisi State University is highly appreciating. Such an efficient cooperation of our religious and scientific figures and representatives of different confessions and nations will undoubtedly serve to achieve new successes in the dialogue among the religions and civilizations.

It is known that the Caucasus is one of the rare corners of the world for its geographical and political position and religious, ethnic and language variety. Namely here, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, the environment of dialogue and mutual understanding resulted in the establishment of a rare system of religious and moral values and created such a phenomenon, the Caucasian culture. Characteristics of this phenomenon, high ethnic and religious tolerance, mutual respect and traditions of friendly neighborly relationship, harmonious union of national and universal values, are undoubtedly, the factors which condition the work of your conference.

Today, our countries face a number of political, social, economic and cultural problems which are peculiar to all the post-soviet republics. Unfortunately, it must be noted that the solution of these problems are complicated with the existence of conflicts here. Different destructive forces not interested in peace and stability in the region sow the seeds of national and religious discords and resort to all the dirty means to maintain the seats of the conflicts. Prevention of all actions jeopardizing peace and tranquility in the Caucasus demands close cooperation for peace from all us. I believe that your conference will be an important step in achieving peace, stability and development in our common Caucasian house.

Let God Almighty assist you in your kind work for the establishment of peace and stability in our region, and for ensuring a worthy life for all the Caucasian peoples.

I wish you successes.

Heydar Aliyev
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan