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Azerbaijan appoints first ambassador to Israel

Mukhtar Mammadov (Photo: Twitter)

In a historic move, the Muslim-majority nation of Azerbaijan appointed its first-ever ambassador to the Jewish state on Wednesday.

The appointment of Mukhtar Mammadov, a veteran diplomat, comes a few months after the Azerbaijani parliament's decision to open an embassy in Tel Aviv.

Israel and Azerbaijan have had bilateral relations for 30 years – and Israel already had an ambassador in Baku and an embassy since the early 1990s – but the relationship has warmed significantly over the past several years, especially as tensions escalate between both nations and Iran, which borders Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan will become the first Shi’ite majority country to have diplomatic offices in Israel. Several Sunni nations have embassies in the Jewish state.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has alleged that Israel has a military presence in Azerbaijan and uses its proximity to spy on the Islamic republic.

While the two nations are likely shoring up their mutual alliance against Iran, some critics have opposed Israel’s ties with Azerbaijan because of its non-democratic government, which has been accused of serious human rights violations. 

Israel provided military and technological support, including drones, to Azerbaijan in its war against Armenia in 2020. Azerbaijan is currently Israel’s largest supplier of oil.

Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS

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