Vitebsk Region to intensify twinning ties with Israel
Restoration of an active cultural dialogue and co-operation in various areas was discussed at a meeting of the Deputy Chairman of the Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee, Vyacheslav Durnov, with the Charge d'Affaires of the State of Israel in Belarus, Zvi Mirkin
Vitebsk and Glubokoe had twinning agreements with the cities of Israel, but the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted regional contacts. Some other factors related to the current political situation in Israel also produced a certain impact.
Meanwhile, Mr. Durnov believes Belarus’ northern region and Israel have much in common in history and culture. “We have many common roots, and our culture is closely intertwined. In the Vitebsk Region alone, there are 55 memorable places associated with the Holocaust tragedy. It is important to preserve our relations and mutual understanding for future generations and for the benefit of our peoples,” he said.
The Israeli diplomat shared a similar opinion, “Any connections are relevant, and they bring mutual benefit. The more of them we have, the better.”
Mr. Mirkin said that, during the period of his diplomatic mission, he intends to visit as many memorable places in Belarus related to the events of the Holocaust and the history of the Jewish people as possible. “This is a very important topic for Israel. Preserving the memory of the Holocaust is one of the main components of Israeli policy. In addition, in previous positions, I dealt a lot with the topic of literature, so I intend to concentrate on similar projects. For example, translation of one of the largest modern Israeli novels into Belarusian is now being completed, and we treat this project very attentively,” he added.
Mr. Mirkin arrived in the Vitebsk Region on a two-day visit, which main purpose is to participate in the ceremony dedicated to International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The diplomat’s other plans include acquittance with the region and city leadership, a visit to the Vitebsk Jewish community and presentation of a Righteous Among the Nations medal to the family of a local resident who saved two Jewish children during the Great Patriotic War.