Hampton synagogue holds event on Azerbaijan

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Washington, September 1, AZERTAC

An event dedicated to the intercultural dialogue and regional dynamics in Azerbaijan has been held in Hampton Synagogue in New York, USA one of the well-known and influential US Jewish community centers.

A prominent rabbi of the Jewish community in the United States Rabbi Marc Schneier addressed the event which was also attended by the Azerbaijani Ambassador to the US Elin Suleymanov at the invitation of the Hampton Synagogue. Being the Founder and President of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, also known as one of the leading figures in promoting Jewish-Muslim understanding Rabbi Schneier in his speech described Azerbaijan as the country of tolerance and peace. He said that Jews and Muslims live in the atmosphere of peace, friendship and mutual understanding in Azerbaijan. Recalling his recent visit to Azerbaijan and his meeting with President Ilham Aliyev, Mr. Schneier hailed Azerbaijani President's special attention and care to national and ethnic communities, including the Jewish community that have lived in the country for centuries.

Describing Azerbaijan as a dynamically developing country, the Rabbi underlined it was felt not only in the field of economy but also in all sectors of the society.

Mr. Schneier highlighted Azerbaijan's completing preparations for the Baku 2015 first European Games in a short time, its excellent organization, adding this success was the manifestation of the country's economic power and political will.

Hank Sheinkopf, one of the renowned representatives of the Jewish community then responded to the participants' questions. He hailed Azerbaijan's role as a specific country in the region.

Addressing the event the Azerbaijani Ambassador to US Elin Suleymanov noted that Azerbaijan as a Muslim country has respect for all religions and cultures and hilgy estimated the high level of relations with the Jewish people as an example. It is based on the tradition of the Azerbaijani people, as well as the result of the head of state's commitment to tolerance and intercultural dialogue.

It is the result of government policy that Jewish and other communities living in the country are equal members of the Azerbaijani people, as well as actively involved in the increasing power and rapid development of the country.

Despite all this, some countries from time to time sound groundless accusations against Azerbaijan, said the Ambassador showing the United States as an example.

He said that against the background of events taking place in the world, reports of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom with biased position are beyond any logic.

Elin Suleymanov highlighted the traditions of tolerance in Azerbaijan that have deep historical roots, adding women in the country were given right to vote even before the US and a number of the leading states of Europe. Hailing the importance of women's role in all spheres of society, the Ambassador noted that on the initiative of the Azerbaijani First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva multiculturalism and tolerance have been widely promoting in the country.

Azerbaijan is not just satisfied with the statements. There is a tolerant and equal approach to all aspects of everyday life of the society, he said.

Responding to questions about the region's socio-economic situation the Ambassador said that the country has a multifaceted and sustainable economy, adding as a result of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict which hinder the region's overall development, 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories are still under occupation.

Being one of the leading centers of the Jewish community in the United States, Hampton Synagogue is as well one of the places frequently visited by senior government officials.

Yusif Babanlı

Special correspondent

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