By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan’s Presidential Aide Hikmat Hajiyev has thanked Israel’s medical team and the Israeli Embassy for providing health support in ophthalmology for Azerbaijani servicemen wounded in the Second Karabah War.
In a Twitter post on March 5, Hajiyev described it as a sign of friendship between the two countries, adding that "Whoever saves one life, saves the world".
Israeli Ambassador to George Deek visited the Zarifa Aliyeva National Ophthalmological Center where the soldiers were operated.
“This is a spirit of our cooperation, this is a spirit of the friendship between the Israel and Azerbaijan. We want to help these people to restore their health, their self-confidence, and their ability to go back and to live a good, normal and decent life in their homeland, Azerbaijan.
“I believe that this is a sign of a friendship between our countries and that our friendship will continue to grow and to prosper even more in future,” the ambassador said.
A team of eight Israeli ophthalmologists arrived in Azerbaijan on March 1 to render medical and humanitarian assistance for the war veterans at the initiative of Azerbaijan’s Yashat Foundation and with the support of the Israel Embassy and Zarifa Aliyeva National Ophthalmology Center. The treatment of the veterans was free of charge, as a humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan in the field of ophthalmic-surgery.
Israeli doctors checked 130 war veterans during four days of their stay in Azerbaijan. Of these soldiers, twenty-two veterans were operated on, twenty-five had prosthetic eyes fitted, and the rest will be operated on in the next few days.
Israeli woman donates cornea to soldier
Among the patients was soldier Arif Hajiyev whose eyesight was restored thanks to Israeli woman who donated her late husband’s corneas. The Israeli Health Minister gave special permission for the corneas’ delivery to Azerbaijan. Hajiyev’s eyesight was restored after receiving the cornea transplant and his ability to see was increased by 20 percent.
It should be noted that Israel is well-known for the high level of medicine, especially ophthalmology.
Israel was among the first countries to voice support to Azerbaijan over its just position and its territorial integrity during the 44-day Second Karabakh War. In January, Azerbaijan expressed its willingness to involve Israel in restoration of the country’s newly-liberated territories.
Israel was one of the first countries to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence and the Israeli Embassy in the country has been operating since 1994.
Over the years, the list of areas in which the two countries have established successful cooperation is expanding.
The volume of bilateral trade reached $465.7 million in 2020, with an export accounting for $437.5 million and import for $28.2 million. In addition, Azerbaijan is currently the largest supplier of energy to Israel. Oil and oil products are delivered to Israel through the Turkish port of Ceyhan via the Baku- Tbilisi- Ceyhan pipeline.
Set up by presidential decree in December 2020, Yashat Foundation helps families of soldiers killed and injured during the 2020 Karabakh War.
The newly-established foundation’s work covers the families of servicemen killed or disabled during the war and also the families of employees of state bodies (institutions) who became disabled or lost their lives while serving in the liberated lands or while removing the consequences of military operations in the liberated lands.
Yashat receives donations made through voluntary financial assistance provided by Azerbaijani citizens, Azerbaijanis living abroad, other individuals and legal entities, as well as other sources not prohibited by law.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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