Tens of Israeli companies applied for projects in Karabakh – ambassador
Through the Israeli embassy 10-15 Israeli companies have applied to take part in projects in Karabakh, Israeli Ambassador to Azerbaijan George Deek said in an exclusive interview with Trend.
"Even higher number of companies from Israel have applied directly, not through the embassy. I assume that we’re talking about tens of companies that are applying for various projects ranging from building smart cities, to green energy, agriculture, building a hospital, spa treatment center. There are various projects on the table and not all of them go through the embassy. We have a very active private sector, it works independently," he said.
Deek pointed out that Israel has always stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Azerbaijan in its support for the territorial integrity of the country.
"We are very happy that Azerbaijan now has the opportunity to rebuild and to revive Karabakh and Eastern Zangazur. We think that this creates a huge opportunity for cooperation between Azerbaijan and various countries in the world. We think Israel also has a lot to contribute in several fields, such as water management, agriculture, health, innovations, smart cities and green energy. So, I believe that in each one of these areas Israel can be a good partner of Azerbaijan," said the envoy.
He noted that right now, there are several projects that are in the pipeline with the Israeli agricultural private sector.
"Many Israeli companies in the agricultural sector are coming, negotiating, seeing, inspecting and meeting with Azerbaijani partners in order to look into projects. There was one that was announced in Zangilan, which we are very optimistic about. It will be ready in the near future. An Israeli company is going to establish and to run a farm and smart village. We do not sign these agreements as a government, but there are companies from Israel which sign agreements with our partners. For example, there is an Azerbaijani company in charge of the smart city agreement in Zangilan. They are signing it between two private companies. There have been negotiations. I believe it has been finalized and there should be a farm for hundreds of cows and buffaloes to provide milk, which will also go for processing to provide food, employments and expertise for the people of the region," said Deek.
As for other areas, the ambassador noted that in Aghdam, for example, there have been projects in the water sector, that have been negotiated with companies like Mekorot, Baran Group and others.
"We hope that soon something tangible will be finalized between the two sides," he added.
Deek went on to add that Israel is ready also for its companies to take part in projects in the field of green energy in Karabakh or in other parts of Azerbaijan.
"There are now projects in Absheron that Israeli companies may be interested in, especially in solar and wind energy. We’re trying to create more cooperation between the companies in this field. There is no doubt that the cooperation is going to grow. We have to remember one thing: the reconstruction of Karabakh is a historic momentum, challenge and effort for Azerbaijan. What we have proven as Israel is that we are here in our partnership and friendship with Azerbaijan for the long run. We’re not looking only on one year or two years term, but longer run. Wherever Azerbaijan decides that Israeli expertise and assistance is needed, we’re going to be ready to assist," he said.
As for the demining of Azerbaijan’s liberated lands, the ambassador said he had several meetings with Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action about cooperation in demining.
"Several Israeli companies came here and had consultations with the Agency. They even toured those territories to see what is needed. Many of them presented their offers to see what they can take forward," he added.
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