The Times of Israel: European Games in Azerbaijan highlight tolerance and friendship

Baku, June 26, AZERTAC

The Times of Israel has published an article headlined “European Games in Azerbaijan highlight tolerance and friendship“.

“Beginning on June 12 and continuing into the end of this week, Azerbaijan hosts the inaugural European Games, and with no coincidence, Israel has sent the largest sports delegation in all of Israeli history to participate,” the article says. “142 Israeli competitors are enjoying Baku, capital of the Muslim-majority Republic of Azerbaijan, a safe and welcoming country for all Jews. Over 6,000 athletes are competing now in Baku, from 50 nations, representing 20 categories of sport. Israel has been especially successful so far in Rhythmic Gymnastics and Wrestling. The groundbreaking size of the Israeli delegation is a testimony to the unique friendship between Israel and Azerbaijan, supported by the two thousand year old friendship between the Azerbaijani and Jewish people, and the centuries old Azerbaijani belief system and practice of multiculturalism and inter-religious harmony.”

The article says: “However, over the last few weeks, a well-orchestrated global campaign has been unleashed to defame and discredit these Games and Azerbaijan. Like Israel, Azerbaijan may take steps to secure the safety and integrity of its nation and investments, and like Israel, will also suffer the consequences of making complex decisions in front of a hungry and angry media, lashing out in simplicity. Several news sources posit which European leaders were NOT in attendance at the Games’ opening ceremony, but very few list the various heads of state and government, celebrity performers, activists, and the over 30,000 watching the Games live each day. Azerbaijan has faced its share of uncertainty, and like Israel, is brutalized by a propaganda machine, one clearly intent on destroying their identity and credibility in the eyes of the world.”

“Azerbaijan with its vast energy reserves, proposed natural gas pipeline to Europe and geo-strategic location is poised to shift the international economic and political dynamic in Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. Azerbaijan is also an important partner in combating international terrorism. The recent U.S. State Department report on counterterrorism named Azerbaijan a significant partner in the fight against terrorism, extremism and international money laundering, and praised the country for its ongoing successful collaboration with both the U.S. and NATO,” says the article.

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