Al Azhar's Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed El Tayeb (Photo: Al Ahram)
The head of Egypt’s Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayyeb called on Thursday for Azerbaijan and Armenia to call a ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, where nearly two weeks of heavy fighting has killed hundreds of people and displaced tens of thousands.
“Listening to the sound of reason dictates an immediate ceasefire between the two neighboring countries of Azerbaijan and Armenia,” El-Tayyeb said on his official Twitter account.
“We call upon all those committed to the message of world peace to make their best towards stopping armed conflict and returning to the negotiation table and peaceful solutions between these two countries,” he added.
Heavy fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh region erupted on 27 September, killing scores of both servicemen and civilians.
Nagorno-Karabakh is inside Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia, which claims the region is part of its territory from the pre-Soviet era.
Al-Azhar is the most influential Islamic institution in Egypt and most of the Sunni world.
Nearly 97 percent of the population in Azerbaijan are Muslims, the majority of whom are Shia.