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Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has today received representatives of Jewish communities who arrived in the country to attend the opening of the Chabad Ohr Avner Jewish school, AzerTAj state news agency reported.
The President said for centuries there was tolerance in Azerbaijan towards all nations and national minorities, including the Jews.
The Head of State said that, historically, representatives of different nations had been peacefully coexisting in Azerbaijan, adding this tradition successfully continued today.
The President highlighted the opening of the Chabad Ohr Avner school, which took place earlier in the day, saying projects for national minorities in Azerbaijan contributed to strengthening the friendly relations among nations.
The Head of State said national leader Heydar Aliyev pursued a consistent policy to strengthen tolerance in Azerbaijan, adding this policy had been successfully continued.
President Ilham Aliyev highlighted Azerbaijan`s development path in the first years of independence. The President said it was national leader Heydar Aliyev`s wise policy which saved Azerbaijan from a civil war, economic downturn, socio-political crisis and Armenia`s aggression.
The President said Azerbaijan was pursuing an independent policy, adding the unity of the people and authorities had been ensured in the country.
The Head of State said the population`s standard of living had been continuously improved in the country, with the poverty level decreased from 49% to 11%.
President Ilham Aliyev said the government`s purposeful policy allowed Azerbaijan to considerably develop and modernize both the country`s capital and the regions. The President said Azerbaijan was the regional leader, noting the country managed to ensure overall development despite global economic and financial crisis. The Head of State said Azerbaijan was increasing efforts to make it to the ranks of the developed countries.
The President once again highlighted the projects aimed at ensuring free activities of religious communities in Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev said a new synagogue was built in the country as part of the projects.
The Head of State stressed the importance of strengthening the process of increasing the world community`s awareness of Azerbaijan`s truths, adding reciprocal visits played a crucial role in this respect.
Lev Leviev, President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS and chief of the Ohr Avner Foundation, thanked President Ilham Aliyev for the hospitality. He praised Azerbaijan`s tolerance and attention to all national minorities in the country, including the Jewish community. He said national leader Heydar Aliyev`s wise policy of tolerance was successfully continued by President Ilham Aliyev. Leviev also praised the Heydar Aliyev Foundation`s and first lady Mehriban Aliyeva`s contributions to strengthening tolerance in Azerbaijan.
Shlomo Amar, Chief Rabbi of Israel, said he was deeply impressed by his visit to Azerbaijan. He praised President Ilham Aliyev`s policy, in which, he added, the human factor was a key criterion. Mr. Amar said he eyewitnessed large scaled construction work in the capital Baku from the moment he touched down at the Heydar Aliyev international airport. He said he visited synagogues in Azerbaijan during his current trip, thanking the Azerbaijani leader for the construction of a new synagogue in Baku. Shlomo Amar said the new Jewish school which opened in the Azerbaijani capital met highest standards.
Jack Rozen, the American-Jewish Congress chairman, said there had been considerable changes in Azerbaijan since his first visit. He said Azerbaijan was an example of how different nations and religions could coexist peacefully.
Berl Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia, also praised tolerance in Azerbaijan, stressing the necessity of promoting this experience. Mr. Lazar said the construction of the Chabad Ohr Avner Jewish school in Baku was a prefect example of tolerance.
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