By Rashid Shirinov
“Nagorno-Karabakh is the territory of Azerbaijan. Although the
Armenian diaspora activists protested against events commemorating
Khojaly genocide in our city, my answer to them was: I support the
Azerbaijani nation,” Mayor of the Israeli city of Acre Shimon
Lankri has told journalists.
He stressed that no threat by Armenians can change his attitude
towards Azerbaijan. "The city of Acre was home to the largest
The mayor recalled his visit to Quba in Azerbaijan, and said he
was proud to see such excellent conditions created for the Jews in
the country. “We agreed to sign a friendship and cooperation
agreement between Quba and Acre. We presently continue the
negotiations, and the document will be signed in 2017,” Lankri
Quba region is home to Azerbaijan's largest community of
Mountain Jews, who live there in Krasnaya Sloboda (Red Town).
Located 165 km northwest of the capital Baku, the village is
inhabited with about 3,000 people.
The mayor informed that a House of Azerbaijan is being built in
Acre, adding that it will be affiliated with Azerbaijan
The Israeli-Azerbaijani relations were also touched upon by
Rafael Harpaz, Head of the Eurasia Department at the Israeli
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Former Israel's Ambassador to
Azerbaijan. "We are watching the process ongoing over the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," he told APA.
Harpaz said that Israel believes and hopes that peaceful
solution is the only way out of the conflict: "We have had such an
experience in the region. We hope that the international efforts
headed by OSCE Minsk Group will be successful, and we support these
He noted that Israel would like to observe peace in the region.
"If there is peace, the economic capacity of the region will be
strong," he said.
The former Ambassador expressed also contentment with opening
Azerbaijani Embassy in Israel: "We conduct negotiations. But the
final decision is up to the Azerbaijani government."
Azerbaijan and Armenia for over two decades have been locked in
conflict, which emerged over Armenian territorial claims. Since the
1990s war, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of
Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including
Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions. The UN Security
Council has adopted four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal, but
they have not been enforced to this day.
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