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Israel, Azerbaijan Sign Military and Security Deal

Israel, Azerbaijan Sign Military and Security Deal

Wednesday, 5 October, 2022 - 06:45
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz meeting with Azeri delegation (Israeli Defense Ministry)

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz revealed he completed an unannounced visit to Azerbaijan, during which he met senior Azeri officials and signed several cooperation agreements in the military and security fields.

Gantz's spokesman said the visit occurred on Monday, and a high-ranking delegation accompanied him.

According to a defense source who was part of the delegation, Gantz was asked about the Palestinian situation and rejected all proposals to invade the West Bank in response to Palestinian operations.

He also rejected the idea attributed to Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi to send drones to assassinate armed Palestinian youths in Jenin.

Gantz sought calm with the Palestinians and was open about having direct relations with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, pointing out that they meet and try together to find realistic solutions to break the stalemate in the political situation.

He added that at the same time, the minister stated that he fights the Palestinians when they send “shooters and terrorists” to kill Israeli soldiers and settlers.

Gantz went on to underline the importance of maintaining strategic relations between the State of Israel and the Republic of Azerbaijan and reflecting on the changes that have taken place in the Middle East region after the signing of the Abraham Accords.

The spokesman also noted that senior officials discussed the development of Israel's ties with Turkey and other countries in the region and the world.

Gantz took advantage of his presence in a country neighboring Iran and told Israel Hayom's military correspondent, Yoav Limor, that Tel Aviv could respond to any development in Iran.

He added that the nuclear deal is not advancing but not terminated yet, asserting Israel's opposition to the agreement.

A senior source who accompanied Gantz said that Israel has good relations with Azerbaijan, as it is an essential Islamic country neighboring Iran and, like Israel, faces many hostile schemes from the leaders of the Tehran regime.

The source noted that Israel and Azerbaijan must coordinate to confront these schemes together, noting that the meetings revealed the two sides share the same vision towards many regional issues.

During the visit, Gantz also met with the Chief of the State Border Service, Colonel General Elchin Guliyev, and visited a State Border Service headquarters.

Last April, Israel's Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman visited Azerbaijan and was received by President Ilham Aliyev.

Lieberman also met Ministers of Finance and Economy and concluded agreements to expand economic relations, especially in oil import.

Azerbaijan pledged to supply Israel with oil if the global energy crisis was exacerbated due to the sanctions imposed by the West on Russia following the war in Ukraine.

In turn, Israel vowed to provide Azerbaijan with the experts and knowledge it needs to develop wheat cultivation, which is also witnessing a global shortage because of the war.

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