Nahum Rachevski: "Azerbaijan does a lot for Jewish residents"

Nahum Rachevski: "Azerbaijan does a lot for Jewish residents"

Deputy Mayor of the Israeli city of Kiryat-Bialik Nahum Rachevski shared with STMEGİ his impressions of his recent trip to Azerbaijan.

- Mr. Rachevski, what are your impressions of your trip to Transcaucasia?

- Nothing but positive. We spent seven days in Azerbaijan, and during this period we managed to learn a lot of useful information about the country. The trip was intense and substantial. We visited the Ismayilli region. This is one of the resort areas of the country. We visited Lahij village, Ivanovka village. By the way, what I liked about this village is that  the Russian population has lived here for hundreds of years. It really impressed me. The roads to the village are repaired. And you can see that a lot of money has been invested in the reconstruction of roads.

- You also visited the Jewish cemetery ...

- Yes, we've been there as well. And they spare no effort to improve the cemetery. A fence is installed along the perimeter of the cemetery. Earlier, the cattle could enter the grave site, but after the fence was installed, it does not happen anymore. Improvements in the territory of the cemetery were carried as well, the graves are in a well-maintained condition.

- A twinning agreement was signed between the cities of Kiryat Bialik and Ismayilli. In which areas do you plan to build relations with the Ismaili people?

- First of all, I want to develop cultural cooperation between the cities. We invited the chief of Ismayilli executive power to Israel. They have a big chess club. After they visit us, I will invite their children to visit us, and then our children will visit them. We should send friendship through our children, through the younger generation, so that it is transmitted to another generation. Of course, there are other ideas as well. I believe we must work in this direction more closely, strengthening the friendly relations between our peoples.

- What was most memorable thing about Baku?

- Baku is a very beautiful, comfortable city. Active construction is under way there. We visited the Heydar Aliyev Center, which is an integrated facility and includes an auditorium (congress center), a museum, exhibition halls, administrative offices. This is an incredibly beautiful building. We stayed in Baku for three days, and many of the delegates said that three days are not enough to fully appreciate the sights of the city. I should visit Baku again. We visited the Mountain Jews Synagogue in Baku. As far as I know, the Azerbaijani government provides financial support to the community of Mountain Jews to help elderly people and the sick. The government does its utmost to make Jews in Baku feel free citizens of their country.

- Azerbaijan-Israel relations are increasingly developing. What do you think needs to be done to improve the relations between the two countries?

- Azerbaijan is a Muslim country. Israel is one of the first states that officially recognized the independence of Azerbaijan. Israel and Azerbaijan have maintained diplomatic relations since 1992. The meetings should be held at the highest level, and I think that this is being done. We can strengthen cooperation in the field of agriculture. As you know, our country is a major exporter of vegetables and fruits and a world leader in agricultural technology. In addition, we have made great strides in the military sphere. And our military cooperation with Azerbaijan has been very successful. Israel is the second largest importer of Azerbaijani oil. In these areas, we see great progress in the relations between the two countries, and I am sure that they will strengthen from year to year. By the way, I also want to note that there is a "Presidential Forest" in Israel near Jerusalem, where 613 trees were recently planted in memory of the victims of the Khojaly tragedy. It was the first time when trees have been planted in Israel in memory of non-Jews.

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