A few days ago in Baku, a monument was officially dedicated to the Azerbaijan national hero Albert Agarunov, a Jew. Representatives of the military-political establishment, deputies, representatives of Jewish communities and the public gathered. One of the first monuments to a Jewish hero in the Muslim world was erected in Azerbaijan. More frequently I hear how vandals have destroyed or desecrated monuments to Jews. However, in Azerbaijan, all representatives of national minorities – including Jews – have been treated and continue to be treated with great warmth and respect. When the Azerbaijani-Armenian War (also known as the Nagorno-Karabakh War) began in 1988, representatives of various peoples living in Azerbaijan expressed their willingness to voluntarily fight for their homeland, including Jews. Among those distinguished by high patriotism, courage and excellent knowledge in the field of tank combat was Albert Agarunov.After the start of the war, Agarunov went as a volunteer to the front, as he believed that it was necessary to fight for the land on which he was born. During the fighting, he destroyed a significant amount of enemy manpower and armored vehicles. Appointed a tank commander, Agarunov was sent to Shusha (a city now occupied by the Armed Forces of Armenia). In the early morning of May 8, 1992, Agarunov, by order of tank commander A. Kasumov, entered his last battle on the outskirts of Shusha.A combat summary states, “Led by the platoon commander foreman Albert Agarunov, who was left alone with Agababa Huseynov, the main tank, skillfully maneuvering, went to the firing position and shot the enemy tank at point-blank range.”Soon, Agarunov’s crew knocked out the second enemy tank. Changing his position, Agarunov noticed on the ground, right in front of his tank, the bodies of those killed in battle by fellow soldiers. Agarunov got out of the vehicle to move them to the side. As he began to move them, he was hit by an Armenian sniper’s bullet. After Agarunov’s death, Azerbaijani soldiers called their combat vehicles “Albert.”By decree No. 833 of the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated June 7, 1992, Albert Agarunov was posthumously awarded the title of “national hero of Azerbaijan,” and was buried in the Alley of Martyrs in Baku. Baku secondary school No 154, from which Agarunov graduated, bears his name. At the hero’s corner at the school, there are always fresh flowers, and school events, rallies and gatherings are held near the bust of the hero. His memory is also immortalized in the town of Krasnaya Sloboda. The exploits of Agarunov and other national heroes of Azerbaijan, and those who fought for Karabakh, will remain in the memory of the Azerbaijani people for a long time.The monument to the Jewish hero, as well as the creation of the world’s first museum of mountain Jews in Azerbaijan, are signs of high culture and tolerance, and are symbols of the unbreakable friendship between Azerbaijan and Israel. Today, immigrants – Jews from Azerbaijan now living in Israel – play an increasing role in all areas of Israeli society, and are a living bridge between Azerbaijanis and Jews. Therefore, it is not surprising that the successful development of Azerbaijani-Israeli cooperation is based on a solid foundation laid by our peoples, even since before the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992.Bilateral relations at the political level are developing today. However, if an Azerbaijani Embassy in Israel had been opened, relations would have developed in a completely different way and would be even stronger. The world’s first museum of mountain Jews is located in Azerbaijan; one of the first monuments to a Jewish hero in the Muslim world was erected in Azerbaijan; the village of Krasnaya Sloboda in Azerbaijan is perhaps the only town on Earth, excluding Israel, where only Jews live. So why not think about opening an Azerbaijani Embassy in Israel? Azerbaijan is among the first in the world in terms of tolerance and multiculturalism. I hope it will not be the last among countries to have an embassy in Israel.The writer is director of the international expert club EurAsiaAz.