Netanyahu meets with Azerbaijani President

PM Netanyahu and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met in Baku to discuss the growing economic ties between the two nations.

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PM meets with President Aliyev
PM meets with President Aliyev
Government Press Office

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, at the Zagulba Palace in Baku Tuesday. Both Netanyahu and Aliyev gave speeches at the event.

President Aliyev spoke of the economic cooperation between the two nations and said that it could be expanded and diversified.

"We need to work in order to diversify it and to increase it. We discussed today a very broad range of issues concerning our bilateral relations, regional development, and discussions were very open, friendly and will help us to strengthen our bilateral ties."

He spoke highly of Israel's technological capabilities and their potential to aid Azerbaijan. " We have very good prospects in cooperation in agriculture and we discussed it with the Prime Minister. Israel has very modern technologies – some of them we are using and some of them probably will come later to Azerbaijan. [We foresee] good prospects for cooperation in that area."

He also revealed the extent of Azerbaijan's defense purchases from Israel to be nearly $5 billion.

"We also actively cooperate in the area of defense industries and this cooperation has lasted already for many years. I'll just bring you one figure to illustrate how broad this cooperation is: So far the contracts between Azerbaijani and Israeli companies with respect to purchasing of defense equipment are close to 5 billion dollars. More precisely – $4,850,000,000. The major part of these contracts have already been executed and we are still continuing to work on that and are very satisfied with the level of this cooperation."

He said that Azerbaijan's relations with Israel are a continuation of its historical friendly relations with the Jewish people.

"For centuries Jews and Azerbaijanis lived in peace, friendship and continue to live here in Azerbaijan, and the Jewish community of Azerbaijan is a very active part of our society. They contribute a lot to the development of modern Azerbaijan and these close relations between our people is a very important factor in our bilateral relations."

Prime Minister Netanyahu praised the development of Azerbaijan in the 20 years since he last visited the country.

He also praised the growing relationship between the two nations as "an example of Muslims and Jews working together to secure a better future for both of us. And it's an example that shines against the background of intolerance and lack of acceptance and mutual respect."

He then invited President Aliyev to visit Israel.