By Kamila Aliyeva
Azerbaijan is not only a strategic partner of Israel, but also an example of interreligious and interethnic tolerance, said Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Defense Minister.
He made the remarks in his congratulatory speech on the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Israel, Trend reported.
Lieberman went on to say that friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Israel are becoming stronger, and this undoubtedly benefits both countries.
He noted that cooperation between the two countries is based on mutual interests.
“I am very proud that I had the opportunity to contribute to positive development and strengthening of the relations between our countries,” Lieberman said. “I felt myself like at home during my frequent visits to Azerbaijan. I met a number of officials, and first of all, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. This allowed us to significantly strengthen cooperation in such areas as high technology, agriculture, energy, etc.”
The minister stressed that the Jewish community living in Azerbaijan has always felt itself in a safe and friendly environment.
“This community, as well as the people from Azerbaijan living in Israel, have played and continue to play the role of a strong bridge between the two countries,” Lieberman said.
He expressed hope that bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Israel will continue to grow.
In this context, Lieberman mentioned the efforts of the Israel-Azerbaijan International Association (AZIZ), which plays a very important role in establishing and maintaining relations between the two countries.
Lieberman also expressed hope that Azerbaijan and Israel will closely and beneficially cooperate for many more years and wished peace and prosperity to the two countries.
Being a Muslim majority country, Azerbaijan is a home to a big Jewish community. The country’s north region of Guba is home to Azerbaijan's largest community of Mountain Jews, who live in Krasnaya Sloboda (Red Town).
The two countries cooperate not only in trade and economic sphere (Israel imports Azerbaijani oil through the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline), but also had broad interaction in military and military-technical spheres.
During the recent visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in mid-December, the two countries signed agreements on standardization, double taxation and agricultural cooperation. Israel is in the tenth place in terms of Azerbaijan's trade turnover with other countries.
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