Baku, Azerbaijan, June 16
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
The Consulates General of Azerbaijan and Israel held a joint event on June 12, 2017, in Los Angeles to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Israel.
The event was hosted by the Sinai Temple, which is one of the largest and most influential synagogues not only in Los Angeles, but also in the entire US, says an article posted on azeriamericanews.com.
Attended by over 300 guests, including consuls general of various countries, elected officials, representatives of different ethnic and religious communities, journalists and others, the celebration included a discussion between Azerbaijan’s Consul General Nasimi Aghayev and Israel’s Consul General Sam Grundwerg.
Speaking afterwards, Rabbi David Wolpe of the Sinai Temple recalled the 2015 trip of 45 members of his congregation to Azerbaijan, noting that the journey offered the opportunity to learn more about Azerbaijan’s model of interfaith tolerance and harmony up close.
He noted that celebrating the Azerbaijan-Israel relations was important also in terms of showcasing the possibility of peace between Muslims and Jews.
Then Consul General of Azerbaijan Nasimi Aghayev and Consul General of Israel Sam Grundwerg addressed the audience.
In his remarks, Consul General Aghayev informed the attendees about Azerbaijan’s long-standing traditions of tolerance, inclusion and multiculturalism.
Noting the centuries-long peaceful co-existence of Azerbaijani Muslims and Jews, Consul General Aghayev said that these bonds between the two peoples provided a strong foundation for the emergence of close friendship and partnership between Azerbaijan and Israel after the collapse of the Soviet Union when Azerbaijan restored its independence.
Speaking about the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, Consul General Aghayev emphasized appreciation for Israel’s unwavering support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. In this regard, Aghayev also expressed gratitude for Israeli President Rivlin’s special reference to the 1992 Khojaly Massacre – committed by Armenia against Azerbaijani civilians – in his 2015 UN speech on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Aghayev noted that this was another indicator of a genuine friendship between the two countries.
Consul General of Israel Sam Grundwerg called the environment of interfaith tolerance and harmony in Azerbaijan a great model and example. He also highlighted the strategic nature of Azerbaijani-Israeli partnership, encompassing many crucial areas. Recalling the high-level bilateral visits, Consul General Grundwerg expressed his satisfaction with the current level of Azerbaijan-Israel strategic partnership.
Touching upon the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, Grundwerg noted that Israel supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan as well as the peaceful resolution of the conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.