During his visit to Azerbaijan, FM Liberman met with the Azeri President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Deputy Prime Minister and other senior officials, as well as with the leaders of the Jewish community.
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman met in Baku with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and discussed with him the strengthening of bilateral relations. During the meeting, FM Liberman stated that Israel views the relationship with Azerbaijan as one of special importance, and praised Azerbaijan as being a country that exemplifies religious and ethnic tolerance both in the past and in the present. FM Liberman told President Aliyev that Jews have lived in Azerbaijan for thousands of years and are still living there today, adding that they have always felt they were living in a secure and friendly environment.
In the meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov, the two discussed developments in the international arena as well as regional and bilateral issues. Ministers Liberman and Mammadyarov signed a joint protocol regarding policy consultations, discussed the promotion of a series of agreements that are on the agenda and the possibility of institutionalizing two weekly scheduled flights between Tel Aviv and Baku.
During the course of the visit, FM Liberman also met with Deputy Prime Minister Yagub Eyubov, with Minister of Defense Zakir Hasanov, with Minister of National Security Eldar Makhmudov, with the Minister for Emergency Situations Kamaleddin Heydarov and Chair of the State Committee on Work with Diaspora Nazim Ibragimov. It was agreed that cooperation between Israel and Azerbaijan in the spheres of agriculture, energy and science would be broadened within the context of expanding and deepening the bilateral relationship.
In FM Liberman’s meeting with the Jewish community, community leaders emphasized that there are three synagogues in Baku, a Jewish school and a Department of Judaica at the Azerbaijan State University. FM Liberman stated that the Jewish community in Azerbaijan is not only a local success story but also an important bridge between the two countries.
In the meeting with Speaker of the National Assembly Ogtay Asadov, with members of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Israel-Azerbaijan Inter-Parliamentary Committee and other MPs, which was also attended by MK Amnon Cohen, Chairman of the Israel-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Friendship Association, FM Liberman expressed his hope that a delegation of Azeri MPs will visit the Knesset this year, in accordance with the invitation issued by the Speaker of the Knesset.