Azerbaijan
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The leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Sunday issued a statement in which they welcomed Azerbaijan’s decision to open an embassy in Israel.

"We welcome the historic decision by Azerbaijan to open an embassy in Israel, which represents a significant step in the warming of relations between the Jewish State and her neighbors and will directly connect one of the largest Jewish communities in the Muslim world to the heart of the Jewish homeland,” said Dianne Lob, Chair, and William Daroff, CEO, of the Conference of Presidents.

"This is the first commitment of its kind by a Shiite Muslim-majority nation and follows a growing trend of regional normalization, most recently with the resumption of diplomatic ties between Israel and Turkey. This agreement and others signal the critical importance of regional stability and send a firm message to bad actors like Iran who continue to promote violence and sponsor terrorism,” they added.

“The Conference of Presidents long-standing connection to Azerbaijan focuses on building relations with the American Jewish community and with Israel, leading missions and trips to the country over the last quarter century.”

"We look forward to seeing this decision fully implemented in the coming weeks, as well as opportunities for further social, political, and economic development, beginning with the full exchange of diplomatic representatives," concluded Lob and Daroff.

The Azerbaijani parliament on Friday announced its historic decision to open an embassy in Israel.

The embassy will be located in Tel Aviv, and will be the first embassy in Israel of a country with a Shiite majority and a Shiite government.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz spoke on Sunday morning with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, and thanked him for Azerbaijan's decision to open an embassy in Israel.

“I spoke this morning with my friend, Defense Minister of Azerbaijan, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov. I thanked him on behalf of Israel’s defense establishment for the important decision taken by the Azeri parliament, to open an embassy in Israel," Gantz said.

"I also thanked him for his partnership and commitment to fostering defense relations between Israel and Azerbaijan over the years. This reflects the deep friendship between our countries, which I am certain will develop further and make a positive impact on the region.”

Azerbaijan, which has bilateral ties with Israel, opened a trade representation office in Israel last year.

Israel and Azerbaijan recently celebrated 29 years to the establishment of bilateral ties. At the time, an Azeri official told the Israel Hayom newspaper, "The time has come to open an Azerbaijan Embassy in Israel."

"The Azeri people and the Jewish people have a long history together," Farid Shafiyev, the chairman of Azerbaijan's Center of Analysis of International Relations, told the newspaper.

"Jews have lived in Azerbaijan for 2,500 years. The historic ties between the peoples are deep," he added, noting this shared history was the basis for bilateral ties.