Azerbaijan made history on Wednesday when it became the first Shia Muslim country to establish an embassy in Israel.
The Israeli government welcomed the development, against a backdrop of increasing bilateral military cooperation between Iran and Russia. Israel is interested in deepening its military ties with Azerbaijan, a country in the strategically important Caucasus region, bordering both Russia and Iran.
In January, Azerbaijan appointed the seasoned diplomat Mukhtar Mammadov as its first ambassador to Israel and has chosen to install its embassy in Israel’s commercial center, Tel Aviv.
In conversation with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen noted that Iran constitutes a threat for both countries.
“Israel and Azerbaijan share the same perception of the Iranian threats,” Cohen told Bayramov.
Military cooperation is a central component of Azerbaijan and Israel’s diplomatic relations.
With its proximity to Iran, Azerbaijan could serve as a landing site for Israeli military aircraft during any future strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. However, Mammadov noted that the Israeli Air Force will not be able to use Azerbaijani air bases for any potential military action against Iran’s nuclear sites.
Cohen stressed the importance of regional cooperation in stopping a nuclear Iran.
“We must act together to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear capabilities,” he said. “The way to do it is by using political and economic tools while, at the same time, formulating a reliable and decisive military threat," Cohen said.
Bayramov told the media that his country is interested in Israeli technology in various fields, including water technology and agriculture.
“There is a huge potential for Israel to bring its advanced technology to Azerbaijan,” Bayramov said.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.