Nearly two-dozen Jewish, Christian and congressional leaders turned out last week for a special event on Capitol Hill to honor Azerbaijan’s longstanding support for Israel amid its 70th-anniversary celebrations.
The event, attended by Northwood Church’s Founding Pastor Bob Roberts Jr., Eagles’ Wings founder and executive director Bishop Robert Stearns, and the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding’s President Rabbi Marc Schneier, focused on the close relationship that Azerbaijan and Israel share, and how it should serve as a model for other Muslim nations.
“On the eve of Israel’s 70th anniversary, today we celebrate the authentic relationship between the Muslim nation of Azerbaijan and Israel. There are 57 Muslim nations, but when it comes to their support of Israel, Azerbaijan is number one,” said Schneier.
Azerbaijan, a predominantly Shi’ite Muslim country in central Asia bordering Iran and Russia, has enjoyed close relations with Israel for the past 25 years. Both countries cooperate closely on security, geopolitical and military issues, and have expanded economic relations in recent years, especially in the field of high-tech.
Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the United States Elin Suleymanov said that Israel is one of his country’s “strongest” partners in the region.
“Azerbaijan is proud of its history of inclusiveness and its vibrant Jewish community,” said Suleymanov. “Our strong, growing partnership with Israel has a special meaning today as Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary and Azerbaijan marks the Centennial of the first-ever democratic republic in the Muslim world. The relationship between Azerbaijan and Israel stands as a pioneering example of what is possible.”