Azerbaijan will become one of the few Muslim-majority countries to officially celebrate the InternationalHolocaust Remembrance Day on January 27. This was stated by the President of the Republic Ilham Aliyev during a meeting with the President of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Rabbi Mark Schneier, who is a well-known supporter of the Judeo-Muslim interfaith dialogue. The head of Azerbaijan also promised support to the country’s only Jewish school “Or Avner” in Baku, which has recently experienced financial difficulties.
According to Mark Schneier, at the meeting he asked Aliyev to take this step – and the President readily agreed. According to the rabbi, the head of Azerbaijan instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs to prepare commemorative events in cooperation with the Israeli Ambassador.
Mark Schneier called President Aliyev’s decision “a stunning example of good relations at the highest level.” The representative of the Alliance of Rabbis in Muslim Countries Shneur Segal thanked Ilham Aliyev for taking care of the Jewish community.
President of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress Dr. Michael Mirilashvili addressed the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, with a letter of gratitude:
“Dear Mr. President,
On behalf of the leaders of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress and on myself, I would like to express my gratitude for your decision to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the state level. This decision will be a shining example for other countries in preserving the memory of the Holocaust. Let me also express my deep gratitude for the intention to support the Or Avner Jewish school in Baku.
For more than a thousand years, Jews have lived in Azerbaijan in a friendly environment and peace. Many representatives of the Jewish community of Azerbaijan took an active part in the political, cultural, social and economic life of the republic. We are grateful to you for your wise national policy and consistent tough stance in the worldwide fight against anti-Semitism. We appreciate your numerous efforts in the development and strengthening of friendly relations and economic ties between Azerbaijan and Israel. We are convinced that the Jewish community of Azerbaijan will continue developing for the benefit of their country.”